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Gap will implement “rigorous cleaning routines” at each store and will provide hand sanitizing stations at the entryway and cash wraps, according to the company statement. Additionally, plexiglass health guard partitions will be installed in checkout areas and signage will be posted throughout stores with encouraging social distancing reminders.
Fitting rooms and restrooms will be temporarily closed, and any items that are returned shall be quarantined for 24 hours before being put back on the salesfloor. Customers will also be encouraged to wear face coverings while they shop.
For employees, “high-quality, reusable face masks” will be provided by the Gap, so they can safely work during their shift. Healthy hygiene habits such as frequent hand washing and sanitization are said to be implemented in each store along with regular COVID-19 monitoring and a health checklist.
Furthermore, the Gap stores are set to operate with reduced hours at this time and will actively monitor the number of customers it has in its stores.
“In working with industry partners and public officials to define Safe Shopping practices, we’re eager to begin welcoming our teams and customers back to our stores, and confident in our ability to safely scale North America openings over the coming months in line with local guidelines,” said Sonia Syngal, the CEO of Gap Inc. “We continue to use this crisis as an opportunity at every turn.”
She added, “As we leverage our stores as distribution hubs, lean into the meaningful acceleration of our online business and play forward the learnings from our Asia business where all locations are now open, we believe we’ll be well-positioned as this crisis subsides.”
The Gap is working local governments and health official guidelines to reopen its stores. It has also partnered with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and other industry peers to figure out its reopening strategy for the current economic climate.
Up to 800 stores will be reopened across the Gap’s Old Navy, Athleta, Gap, Banana Republic, Janie and Jack and Intermix brands. The stores are scheduled to open before the end of the month.
Select stores in Texas are set to open this weekend.
Aside from opening brick and mortar stores, the Gap has 1,000 ship-from-store locations as well as curbside pickup at 75 locations, which provide contactless service. Both programs will be expanded in the coming months.