Fitting Rooms To Remain Closed & Returned Goods Quarantine

Aside from Kohl’s, Gap will also be closing all fitting rooms and restrooms when it reopens more than 800 stores this month, as will Urban Outfitters and Target. Nordstrom will close most fitting rooms, but will leave a few open — two or three, depending on the store.

For the retailers who are keeping fitting rooms open, like Saks Fifth Avenue, clothes that are tried on are being cleaned and taken off the sales floor for 24 hours before being put back on display

The variance in how brands are treating fitting rooms comes from the fact that, while most states in the U.S. have guidelines on whether stores can reopen and how they should clean, there are few guidelines on how brands should deal with the handling of product by so many people.

Here's the list of various in-store safety initiatives retailers are using or have installed:

Abercrombie & Fitch

On May 6, Abercrombie & Fitch announced it had started opening locations “where regulations allow” globally. Stores are opening “on a rolling basis” and will continue to do so going forward. Reopened stores will enforce social distancing and provide contactless payment options. Stores were temporarily closed on March 15.

It wasn’t immediately clear how reopenings would impact furloughed employees. The retailer did say associates at reopened stores would use personal protective equipment.

Amazon (Whole Foods)

On April 30, Amazon announced that Whole Foods would be asking customers to wear face masks inside its stores, and provide disposable ones if customers do not have their own.

Other safety precautions:

Set aside the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods stores nationwide for vulnerable customers.

Distributed personal protective gear and masks to employees

Implemented health processes and temperature checks

Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks paid time off.


More than 80 percent of Apple’s 510 stores worldwide remain closed, but the company plans to reopen 25 more stores in the US, 12 in Canada, and 10 in Italy over the next week.

Apple’s head of retail Deidre O’Brien says temperature checks will be conducted and all staff and customers will be required to wear face coverings. Apple will provide coverings to customers who don’t have their own, and will enforce social distancing rules with a limited number of people in the store at once. “In every store, we’re focused on limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, and renewing our focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store,” O’Brien writes.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond is beginning to welcome customers back into stores and are extending curbside pickup to most areas. As they do, they will follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and state and local authorities, including the following precautions:

Associates in our stores and distribution centers maintain a 6-foot distance at all times.

Associates are provided with masks, gloves, and sanitizers; register barriers are in place.

All stores follow rigorous cleaning procedures recommended by the CDC.

Measures include self-check procedures and health reviews.

Cart wipes and hand sanitizer will be available, and sneeze guards at registers.

To make social distancing easier, we will limit the number of people in stores.

Early shopping hours for customers over 60 and those at risk.

We’ll continue to offer contactless, curbside pickup.

AdvertisementBest Buy

Best Buy said it planned to reopen stores gradually in May.

Customers will be able to make appointments for in-store consultations at about 200 US Best Buy stores. The company will also offer curbside pickup at its stores.

Here's how the appointment system works:

Customers can schedule an appointment online, over the phone, on the Best Buy app, or through the live-chat function.
Before they arrive, customers will receive confirmation and reminders about their visit.

A Best Buy employee will call shoppers ahead of time to go over safety measures and discuss what they might be looking for at the store.

At the time of the appointment, shoppers should go to the store entrance, where a host will check them in and introduce them to the sales associate who will be helping them.

The associate will shop with the customer, following navigation and safety guidelines provided by signs and stickers on the floor.

If a customer wants to demo a product, the worker will wipe the product down with disinfectant, let the customer handle it, and then wipe it down again afterward.

When making a purchase, the customer will be taken to the front register, where there will be sneeze guards. The credit-card machine and screen will be wiped down after each use.

A Best Buy employee will escort customers outside the store when they have completed their purchase.


BJ's has taken various safety precautions to protect associates and customers, including:

Updated shopping hours for members 60 and over to between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

• Limits on how many members could be in a store at any given time (no more than 20% of a club’s total capacity will be allowed to enter a store at a time)

• Signage throughout stores and runs audio announcements to encourage social distancing

• Assigning employees to enforce social distancing in checkout lines

Temperature checks to all employees in the coming weeks; employees with an “elevated temperature” will be asked to go home

Provide masks and gloves to associates “as supplies permit.”


Effective May 4, “most” U.S. Costco stores will return to regular operating hours with various safety precautions:

Require shoppers to wear a face covering that covers their mouth and nose while in store

Senior shopping hours will be available at certain stores from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays, with a few exceptions

Previously the company stated that, effective April 3, no more than two people would be able to enter the store with each membership card 

Dick's Sporting Goods

As of May 5, a notice on the retailer’s website said it was reopening stores in some areas of the country.

Some of the safety precautions Dick's is implementing include:

Enforcing social distancing protocols

Installing sneeze guards

Offering curbside pickup

Having designated shopping hours for at-risk customers

Requiring employees to wear face coverings 


DSW announced it will implement sterilization procedures and safety measures as it starts to re-open almost 200 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

AdvertisementThere are also several new procedures in-store, including “contact-free” shopping by limiting transactions to credit, debit or gift cards only, designating special shopping hours for senior citizens and other at-risk customers, and designating merchandise try-on areas. Other initiatives in place include:

Providing ongoing training for associates regarding store cleanliness and customer interaction;

Monitoring associates’ temperature as they arrive for work;

Posting associates at store entrances to monitor customer entry and exit to minimize traffic in stores;

Installing sanitation stations at the front of the stores, including hand sanitizer and gloves for customers;

Posting storewide reminders to remain six feet from others and directional signage limiting traffic flow within the aisles to one way;

Adding health shields at registers and wiping down between customer interactions at registers; and

Implementing a process for sanitizing merchandise, and a separate protocol for sanitizing returned merchandise.

More information is available here


Gap said Wednesday it planned to reopen up to 800 of its Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Janie and Jack, and Intermix stores before the end of May.

In the reopened stores, Gap will:

•  Implement new cleaning routines and install hand-sanitizer stations at front doors and cash wraps.
Close fitting rooms temporarily.

•  Install plexiglass guards at registers.

Post signage reminding customers to follow social-distancing guidelines.

Reduce store hours and actively monitor "the flow of customers in stores."

Temporarily close restrooms and quarantine returns for 24 hours before returning them to the sales floor​.

Supply employees with face masks and encourage customers to wear face coverings while shopping.

Holt Renfrew (Canada)

Luxury multi-brand retailer Holt Renfrew has a game plan to reopen its stores across the country after all were shut in March due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Three of Holt Renfrew’s stores are set to open again this month, including stores in Calgary and Vancouver, as well as the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy store in Montreal which has been under a multi-year expansion/renovation.

The company’s other stores, all located in the Greater Toronto Area, will open at a later date which will likely be in June. The openings come at a time when some consumers may pull back on luxury spending as has been seen with other recession periods.

The company has announced plans and protocols to facilitate the store reopenings, including housekeeping, hygiene, in-store circulation, and new services which Holt Renfrew says are part of a strategy for adapting to changing customer behaviours:

• Prior to re-opening, each store will undergo a deep cleaning of all front and back of house areas

• Increased daily sanitizations will occur throughout the day including sanitation of all high touch areas including pay stations, all conveyance, railings, door handles, washrooms, fitting rooms, and more, after each use

• Hygiene protocol will include hand sanitization stations which will be made available throughout the stores including at all entry points

• Employees and customers will be required to sanitize their hands upon entry into Holt Renfrew stores

• All store team members will wear disposable gloves and masks while in the stores, and disposable gloves and masks will be made available for all customers who wish to receive them

• All high touch surfaces, including point of sale, PIN pads, and phones, will be sanitized after each use, as will fitting rooms in the stores

• The in-store beauty halls will become “touchless” and for the foreseeable future

• All of Holt Renfrew’s seven stores will operate on reduced hours once they reopen

• Stores will feature signage indicating a minimum of two metres physical distance for all front of house areas including fitting rooms, payment desks, escalators, elevators and other store components

• In-store elevators will be restricted to only those who require them for assistance

• Employees will be trained on the in-store circulation measures both on the sales floor as well as in the back of house areas



Kohl's plans to reopen stores in 14 states by May 11.

The company said it would make the following changes:

Close fitting rooms and ban the use of beauty testers.

Shift operating hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Place signage and floor decals to encourage social distancing.

•  Close additional entrances so stores will operate with a single point of entry.

Assign an employee to the front of the store to greet customers, sanitize carts between each use, and limit occupancy.

Require Kohl's employees to wear masks and gloves while in the store.

Remove in-aisle fixtures to increase space for customers.

Install protective barriers at registers and offer touchless payment options through Kohl's Pay on the Kohl's App.

Clean checkout lanes after each customer transaction.

Make hand sanitizer available at each register and throughout the store for customers.

Dedicate shopping hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.for at-risk people including seniors, pregnant women, and people with underlying health conditions.

Require Kohl's employees to participate in mandatory wellness and temperature checks before their shifts.


Kroger has issued a "Blueprint for Business" designed as a guide for grocers, restaurants, foodservice companies and others for creating safer workspaces during the coronavirus outbreak and shaping plans as much of the idled economy starts to reopen in the coming weeks. "We are sharing what we've learned to help businesses begin to reopen safely and in sync with their respective state plans," Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said of the guide, which also includes input from business leaders in such places as Italy and China, which weathered the worst of the pandemic ahead of the US.

We will continue to add new information to the Blueprint in the coming days and weeks, so when the timing is right for businesses to safely reopen, we're all prepared to keep our communities safe and supported, together.

This first installment of Sharing What We've Learned: A Blueprint for Businesses includes a 17-page PDF of recommendations, insights, best practices and downloadable creative assets to help businesses navigate the next phase of this unprecedented pandemic. We will continue to update the Blueprint in the coming days and weeks, providing additional resources, tools and templates for other industries to leverage.



Macy's reopened 68 stores this week and plans to reopen most of its 775 of its stores by mid-June, the company said in a recent presentation.

The states where Macy's stores have already reopened include Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee.

In reopened stores, Macy's plans to:

Place hand-sanitizer stations in high-traffic areas, including entrances, escalators, elevators, and cash registers.

Install plexiglass shields at registers.

Close some fitting rooms and frequently sanitize those that remain open.

Hold items that have been tried on or returned for 24 hours before returning them to the sales floor.

Implement "no-touch" beauty consultations and bar customers from handling testers. Test products may be used with single-use disposable applicators.

Suspend "spalike" services, alterations, bra fittings, and ear piercings.

Increase the frequency of cleanings in high-traffic areas, including fitting rooms, bathrooms, and break rooms.

Require customers to use hand sanitizer before trying on jewelry.

Post signs reminding customers and employees about social distancing and safe hygiene practices.


Nordstrom said earlier this month that it's preparing to open its stores in phases and laid out a number of changes that shoppers could expect when they visit.

In reopened stores, Nordstrom plans to:

Limit the number of customers in stores at any given time. Employees will be stationed at store entrances to count customers and offer guidance.

Close some fittings rooms and clean those that remain open after each use.

Hold clothing that has been tried on or returned for a "period of time" before returning it to the sales floor.

Increase cleaning and sanitizing, especially around high-traffic areas, like checkout counters.

Add plexiglass partitions — also known as sneeze guards — to checkout areas.

Shift to contactless payment options. In other words, customers must pay with cards and not cash.

Add drive-thru order pickup and dedicated parking spaces for returns.

Suspend services like alterations; beauty makeovers; skin-care and specialized services like brow shaping and fittings for prostheses and bras; and dining-in services at restaurants. ATMs and water fountains will also be closed.

Shift from in-person styling appointments to virtual consultations.


REI on May 12 said it has begun reopening stores, some just for contactless curbside pickup and others for a limited number of customers.

Safety requirements for reopened stores:

Employees are required to wear face masks in REI stores, distribution centers and “any location being staffed by employees deemed ‘essential personnel.’”

Some employees will be required to wear gloves, but gloves will also be available for any employees who want to wear them.

The retailer is requiring employees to check for symptoms before each shift and stay home if they feel sick.

Temperature checks will also be implemented.

Reduced operating hours, which will vary by location

REI will ask customers to wear masks, and will provide masks and gloves for those who don’t have them

The retailer will also put social distancing measures in place

Fitting rooms and drinking fountains will be unavailable

Clean stores frequently 


In an announcement on March 19, the office retailer described itself as essential, with customers continuing to rely on it for supplies and services.

The company did, however, implement safety measures in response to COVID-19:

Reduce hours at all U.S. stores

Limit the number of customers allowed inside stores, per CDC guidelines

Asked customers not to enter the store if they were sick

Required social distancing (six feet between each person) in stores

Drivers were no longer requiring customers to sign for deliveries of online orders

Associates are asked to stay home if they are sick, with job protection, and requested that they wash their hands every 30 minutes


Some precautions Target is taking in response to the pandemic:

Actively monitor and limit the total number of people inside of stores when needed

Signage, floor decals and audio messages were also installed in stores to encourage social distancing

Reduced hours, with all stores closing by 9 p.m. local time

Every Wednesday morning, Target offers a dedicated shopping hour for “vulnerable guests.”

Provide personal protective equipment, including masks and gloves, to workers in its stores and distribution centers

The Body Shop

As of May 7, the retailer’s website said U.S. stores would be temporarily closed “until it is responsible to reopen.”

The retailer previously announced that stores would be closed until at least March 27. When stores do reopen, The Body Shop will institute these safety precautions:

New store operating hours

Limited number of people allowed in stores

Follow social distancing measures

Pull back on testers

Employees will wear masks and gloves

Ulta Beauty

Ulta Beauty said it's planning to open 180 stores starting May 11.

In reopened stores, the retailer plans to:

Require face coverings for employees and request that customers wear them, as well.

Ban the use of product testers. Ulta will keep open products on display only to showcase colors.

Place signage and floor decals in stores to encourage social distancing, install protective barriers at registers, provide options for contactless payment, and limit store occupancy.

Hair services will be available in select stores by appointment only. "Safety measures for salon services include required face coverings for guests and associates, gloves for associates, increased laundering of capes and aprons, staggered stations to support social distancing, and added sanitization processes," the company said.

Regularly clean and disinfect public spaces throughout the day and intsall hand sanitizer stations for customers.

Require employees to participate in wellness checks before the start of shifts.



On May 5, the retailer said stores nationwide would resume standard operating hours.

The company has implemented various safety precautions, including: 

Plexiglass shields at point-of-sales spots at the pharmacy and front of store

Signage throughout stores to encourage social distancing

Expanded drive-thru offerings to include select grocery items, prescriptions and infant formula, among other things

Provide face covers to employees working in its pharmacies and stores, as well as distribution center employees

Conducting health screenings, including temperature checks, at certain locations

Workers who test positive for COVID-19 will have two weeks of paid absence

If any company workplace falls under a mandated quarantine the impacted employees will be paid for their absence without using paid time off


Walmart has remained open, but they have still implemented various safety measures to ensure both customer and associates are kept safe.

Some of these measures include:

Dedicated associates in every store to clean high-traffic, high-touch areas, like checkouts and shopping carts, every day

A single, clearly designated entrance and another clearly designated exit at each store

Institute one-way movement through aislesin a number of stores, using floor markers and direction from associates

Installing sneeze guards for pharmacy and store registers

Limiting the number of people in a store at once to allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity

Requiring that associates wear masks or other face coverings at work - this includes stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, as well as corporate offices

Encouraging customers and members to wear face coverings when they shop

A senior shopping hour every Tuesday for customers age 60 and older who may be more vulnerable

Drive-thru, no-contact curbside pickup and mail delivery pharmacy options

Important Store Info - Supporting Associates - Supporting COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing


The retailer announced April 6 that it had implemented no-contact delivery, with no signatures required, and delayed its shopping holiday Way Day. Its fulfillment, logistics and transportation facilities remain up and running.

Hourly workers in its fulfillment centers and home-delivery operations have received pay increases and “other incentives,” and policies were put in place to ensure social distancing. Delivery teams have been told to wash hands or use hand sanitizer in between deliveries and stay six feet away from customers. The retailer has also started temperature checks at “several locations.”



The c-store stated that it is doing everything it can to “safely remain open” during the pandemic, including:

Recommending that stores temporarily close between midnight and 5:00 a.m. so employees can clean and restock

Installing plexiglass sneeze guards at all sales counters in all of its U.S. stores

Extending delivery through third party platforms to reach as many customers as it could



Property Owners Develop Reopening Frameworks

Retailers and developers are beginning to prepare to reopen their locations. A number of big players in the last few days have announced location reopening strategies.

Peterson Companies

The Washington D.C.-based developer Peterson Companies provides a framework for reopening its shopping center locations. The developer did focus on one especially thorny issue: "Our Code of Conduct has been updated to reflect the new safety protocols and our security teams will be trained to diplomatically approach customers who are not complying with updated codes of conduct," the company wrote.

Simons Property Group

Simons Property Group, which owns around 200 malls and outlet centers, announced plans to open half of its locations over the next week. Simon published a ten-page protocol about how it's tackling and strategizing its reopening. It provides definitions of key terms, as well as a list of potential vectors and exposure points. In terms of implementation, it approaches it via three prongs: what it, as a developer, is doing to provide a less risky environment, what retail stores must do and what customers must do.