JCPenney has announced it plans to open 150 additional stores across 34 states, which now has over 300 stores open nationwide after temporarily closing due to the pandemic. Five stores are also currently offering contact-free curbside pickup only.
The brand is looking at CDC guidelines, as well as state and local mandates, to help inform its practices as well as taking extra precautions. JCPenney has said personal protective equipment is required for all associates and is providing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to have a safe working and shopping environment.
“We’ve now reopened a third of our stores and plan to have nearly 500 reopened by June 3. To do this, we’re operating differently and taking a strategic and consistent approach, keeping associate and customer safety as our top priority,” said Jim DePaul, executive vice president of stores at JCPenney in a JCPenney press release. “We are excited to welcome back our loyal customers and dedicated associates. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive as we reopen our doors, focused primarily on our enhanced safety measures.”
The brand has also staggered shift schedules, which will minimize associate contact, enhanced each store cleaning measures by focusing on high-touch areas, as well as added plexiglass shields at registers. The department store brand has also made social distancing and safety signage new normal in their stores and offering contactless checkout from the customers’ mobile devices via barcodes. There is also contact-free curbside pickup available in all reopened stores JCPenney said in their press release.
“We continue to listen to our associates and customers and make additional adjustments as needed,” DePaul added in the same news release. “We are so grateful to our associates for helping us navigate through this environment as we build on our long history and continue the JCPenney story.”
JCPenney is also offering specific shopping hours for high-risk customers at all of its stores on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon. These high-risk customers include senior citizens, expectant mothers, and those with underlying health concerns.
“Our thoughts are with our valued associates and their families who are all being affected as we face this troubling time together. This is a true public health crisis, so we are maintaining health benefits and paying premiums for associates,” said Jill Soltau, chief executive officer of JCPenney, in a previous JCPenney press release on the brand’s website. “We are in conversation with our associates and endeavoring to answer every one of their questions.”