The Gap plans to reopen 800 stores by the end of the month

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Retail chain The Gap Inc. will reopen hundreds of stores across the U.S. this weekend, though stores will operate under revised procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Gap will open roughly 800 stores, while store restrooms and fitting areas would remain closed.

The company’s new CEO, Sonia Syngal, told the Journal that the company would use the coronavirus shutdown to reorganize its finances and holdings as it struggles during the pandemic.

“We’re looking thoughtfully at our real estate,” Syngal said, noting that some stores may not reopen. “We’ll be using this as an opportunity to refashion the company for what we want it to look like over the next 50 years.”

Signs in stores will advise customers on social distancing measures and plexiglass has been erected at checkout lanes, Syngal added.

The company was reportedly dealing with low sales before the outbreak closed most nonessential businesses in the U.S. in March. The Journal reported that officials at the Gap secured a $2.25 billion loan in April, after burning through much of the company’s cash reserves.

Retailers across the U.S. have suffered and been forced to implement furloughs and layoffs amid the coronavirus outbreak, though some states have announced plans to allow such businesses to reopen in the coming weeks.

Some economists have warned that many large-scale department stores forced to temporarily close during the pandemic could be forced to shutter permanently due to weak finances.

Tags Coronavirus department stores economy GAP reopening

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