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Famous Footwear, Journeys Are Reopening Hundreds of Stores This Month

The parent companies behind Famous Footwear and Journeys have begun phased store reopenings in areas of the U.S. that have relaxed local stay-at-home orders enacted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Genesco, which owns Journeys and Johnston & Murphy in the U.S., along with Schuh in the U.K., began reopening stores on May 1 and is now operating more than 300 locations. It plans to reopen more than 400 stores by the end of the month.

Johnston & Murphy began its initial reopening phase this week, the company said, and will open up around 70 locations by the end of the next week.

“Many more” locations will be reopened in June, according to Genesco.

“While we have been pleased with the sales we are experiencing through our e-commerce platforms, we are very excited to once again serve our customers through our stores,” Genesco president and CEO Mimi E. Vaughn said in a statement. “Our teams have spent countless hours meticulously preparing for the reopening of our stores in the right way with safety and health as our highest priority.”

Schuh will start to reopen in the U.K. once local governments give the go-ahead but Genesco stores in the U.S. will operate under enhanced safety measures including requiring employees to wear masks, providing access to hand sanitizer, enhanced cleaning protocols and reworked sales floors that will encourage social distancing.

Caleres, the company behind Famous Footwear, is also reopening brick-and-mortar locations this month. At the same time, the company’s branded stores, which include Allen Edmonds, Naturalizer and Sam Edelman, will begin reopening in a “safe and systematic manner.”

“After careful and extensive planning, we are pleased to be taking this important step in the resumption of our store operations, which we view as a core component of the Caleres value proposition and an essential complement to our digital platform,” Caleres CEO, president and chairman Diane Sullivan said. “With the reopening of our brick-and-mortar operations, we will again be able to offer our customers a full suite of shopping and delivery options, while providing them with the added convenience, service and immediacy that an in-person experience affords.”

The company expects to have around 435 locations open by the end of the month and anticipates the vast majority of its locations will reactivate in-store services by the end of June. Since the closing of most of its locations as a result of the pandemic, Caleres has implemented contactless curbside pickup at 170 locations and is looking to expand that number to nearly 300 by the end of next week.

“It is critically important that we make every effort to ensure that our customers and associates feel confident, comfortable and safe as they return to a familiar shopping experience and work environment,” Sullivan said. “As we look toward the next round of store openings, we will take lessons from this first phase and adjust accordingly.”

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