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American Eagle, Tailored Brands and Clarks Reopen Stores in a New Normal

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More stores, from denim specialists to men’s wear and show chains, have set reopening plans as they reconfigure operations to meet health and safety requirements and new consumer shopping habits.

American Eagle and Aerie

As AEO Inc. looked to begin re-opening American Eagle and Aerie stores in keeping with local and state guidance, the company worked with top medical experts to develop meticulous cleaning and safety protocols. The updated store experience prioritizes safety and enables customers to feel at ease and comfortable as they return to shop.

“Our store teams are continuing to work with top medical experts to develop industry-leading cleaning and safety protocols, resulting in a store experience that enables our customers to feel safe and comfortable as they return to shop our loved and trusted brands, American Eagle and Aerie,” Jay Schottenstein, executive chairman and CEO of AEO, told Sourcing Journal. “I’m confident we will emerge from this crisis with strength and look toward the future with great optimism.”

As of May 1, AEO Inc. has re-opened 45 AE and Aerie stores in states including Texas, South Dakota, Missouri, Arkansas, North Dakota, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, in adherence with local government ordinances. Over the next several weeks and months, the company will continue to re-open stores, refine plans and develop new strategies as needed to ensure meticulous health and safety measures while maintaining a best-in-class customer experience.

Among the key protocols being put in place in all newly re-opened AE and Aerie stores are health checks, temperature screening, customized masks with stickers and photo name badges for associates, as well as a reimagined store layout that allows for social distancing.

A welcome station will offer masks and hand sanitizer to all customers, who will also have the option of curbside pick-up and buy online, pick-up in store capabilities in all locations.

All stores will also have an innovative line queuing app to support customer capacity and a touchless returns process, plus fitting-room and cash-wrap enhancements.

Tailored Brands

Tailored Brands Inc. announced plans for a phased reopening of its Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank and K&G stores in accordance with federal, state and local guidelines in the U.S.

The company expects to open approximately 300 stores by Memorial Day, with the first stores opening in Georgia and Texas this week. In addition, the company is reviewing plans to open its Moores Clothing for Men stores in Canada.

New safety procedures have been implemented, including temperature checks for employees, the use of hand sanitizer and masks, and social distancing protocols such as limiting the number of people in the store. To further enhance safety and meet customers’ needs, all three U.S. brands offer contactless payment, and Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank stores will also offer new curbside pickup.

“We are pleased to bring our store teams safely back to work and to be there for our customers,” Tailored Brands president and CEO Dinesh Lathi said. “The safety and health of our employees, customers and communities remains our highest priority and will guide us through the reopening process. Our phased approach allows us to test, learn and iterate at each step along the way. Accordingly, we will measure customer traffic and response to determine the appropriate pace of reopening and staffing. Throughout this difficult time, I’ve been inspired by our team members’ motivation and willingness to adapt to new safety protocols, allowing us to invite our customers back to our stores and help them look and feel their best for life’s important moments.”

The company will continue to follow government guidelines to determine when it’s appropriate to reopen stores in additional markets across the U.S., as well as its Moores Clothing for Men stores in Canada.

Tailored Brands noted that it will begin bringing back store personnel to staff an expanding number of reopened stores.

Clarks

Gary Champion, president of Clarks Americas, said the company is continuing to closely monitor federal, state and local government and public health orders and guidance to assess where and when its U.S. stores will reopen.

“This process will take place slowly, deliberately and with proper time and support for our store teams,” Champion said. “This means that our customers’ experiences may look different, even within the same state.”

He said the company has expanded on procedures to include enhanced store cleaning schedules, personal protective equipment for store teams and in-store visual cues to support social distancing.

All product returned in stores will be set aside and remain untouched for at least 24 hours and the stores continue to offer contactless payment options.

As of Friday, Clarks stores that have reopened are the Outlets at Castle Rock and Shops At Briargate in Colorado, the Mall of Georgia in Georgia, the Tanger Outlet Center in South Carolina, the Allen Premium Outlet in Texas, and the Traverse Mountain in City Creek Center, Utah.

“A special part of visiting a Clarks store is our try-on experience,” he said in a letter to customers. “If you would like to try on any product, our team is prepared to assist you with social distancing practices followed. Additionally, we are requiring all customers to wear socks when trying on shoes in our stores. We will continue to supply disposable Peds for your use if needed. We graciously ask for your patience as our store teams work to serve you with your well-being at heart. We also thank you in advance for practicing appropriate precautions in our stores, as well.”

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