A number of staffers at major retail chains, including J.C. Penney Co and Saks Fifth Avenue, reported for duty at some Texas-based shops Friday, selling products “to-go” for orders placed online.
Following Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, the retailers could open for curbside pick-up for anything from a Gucci handbag to a pair of Levi’s jeans.
For over a month, “non-essential” stores have been shut to the public to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and many have been limited to shipping online orders to prospects’ homes.
On Friday, Texas, the second-biggest U.S. retail market after California, along with South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee, began to reopen their economies.
Even with curbside service, chains have sharply curtailed signature department store services. Makeup applications and spa services are unavailable, and private shoppers can’t interact with customers in person. They’ve been using Zoom, Instagram, text, and e-mail instead.
Penney, which is exploring filing for bankruptcy protection after the coronavirus pandemic forced the retailer to briefly shut its 850 department stores, will offer curbside pick-up beginning Friday at certain store locations in Texas, along with San Antonio and Dallas.
Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, which is also preparing to seek bankruptcy protection, will enable prospects to collect online orders, gift cards, and alterations via curbside pick-up at all Neiman and Last Call places in Texas. Upon arrival, an associate – wearing a mask and gloves – will deliver the product to the customer without making any contact.