Gap, which owns its namesake brand, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, said on Wednesday that it planned to reopen up to 800 stores in North America by the end of May, as retailers clamor to return to business after shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan follows similar strategies announced in recent weeks by Macy’s, the owner of Bloomingdales and Bluemercury, and Simon Property Group, the biggest mall operator in the United States. Macy’s said on April 30 that it planned to reopen all its 775 stores, including its major flagships in Manhattan, within six to eight weeks.
Gap will start reopening a batch of stores this weekend in Texas, though declined to specify a number. The openings of 800 stores — nearly one-third of its locations in North America — would be dependent on guidelines from state and local authorities, Ms. Syngal said.
The retailer said it would put into place a range of safety measures in stores, including supplying associates with face masks and installing plexiglass partitions in front of registers. Fitting rooms and restrooms will not be available, and returns will be quarantined for 24 hours.
The company had furloughed nearly 80,000 store employees in the United States and Canada as part of the closures.