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Gap To Re-open Up To 800 Stores By Month End

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Apparel retailer Gap, Inc. is set to re-open up to 800 stores by the end of May with safety measures in place in the aftermath of store closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the U.S. The stores will include a mix of its six brands such as its namesake banner, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Janie & Jack.

The re-openings will initially start with a small selection of locations in Texas this weekend and safely scale North America openings over the coming months in line with local guidelines.

The retailer also outlined a strategic plan for the store re-openings, including enhanced health and safety measures that will make customers feel safe to return to shopping as the economy reopens.

Gap is already providing Curbside Pickup in 75 locations in addition to 1,000 Ship from Store locations. It has plans to expand both programs in the coming months.

As a new normal, the retailer is providing hand sanitizer stations at front doors and cash wraps and temporarily closing fitting rooms.

The stores will be opening with reduced hours, temporarily closing restrooms, encouraging customers to observe social distancing and ensuring teams follow healthy hygiene habits such as frequent hand washing and sanitizing.

All Gap team members will be provided with reusable face masks to wear during their shifts and encourage customers to wear a face covering while shopping.

In mid-March, Gap had temporarily trimmed store hours for all of its stores across the U.S. and Canada, and announced a temporarily closure all its stores in North America two days later as a result of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in April 2020, Gap also suspended rent payments under the leases for its stores in North America, which have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rent payments amount to about $115 million per month.

It also furloughed the majority of its store teams in the U.S. and Canada, while reducing headcount across its corporate functions and temporarily reducing pay for its entire leadership team.

In late March, Gap withdrew its financial outlook for fiscal 2020 and suspended stock repurchases as well as the regular quarterly cash dividends for the remainder of fiscal 2020.

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