Eleven Macy’s department stores in Hawaii were back in business Friday, signifying another step forward in the reopening of the state’s economy as new coronavirus cases here appear to be on the wane.
The retailer temporarily closed outlets nationwide in March in response to COVID-19. Macy’s is the first major department store of its scale in Hawaii to reopen fully for in-store shopping, with the local stores opening at 11 a.m.
As an anchor at most of Oahu’s major malls, which reopened May 15, this is significant, according to retail analyst Stephany Sofos.
“More than anything, it’s symbolic,” Sofos said. “They’re signaling to the people of Hawaii that we’re ready to start business again and that we need to get back to work. When you see the big anchors come back, that’s an indication that everybody wants to get back to work and they’re looking at the future and not the past.”
She said it is also significant that Macy’s employees got back to work in what has been a very challenging year for retailers.
On Oahu, Macy’s stores are now open at Ala Moana Center, Kahala Mall, Windward Mall, Pearlridge Center, Ka Makana Ali‘i in Kapolei and Waikiki.
On Maui, the retailer reopened at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Kaanapali and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center in Kahului, and on Kauai at Kukui Grove. On Hawaii island, the stores at Makalapua in Kailua-Kona and at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo welcomed customers.
Several dozen shoppers were browsing inside both levels of Macy’s at Windward Mall on Friday afternoon. Earl Cachola of Salt Lake said it was nice to have another option besides the big-box stores that were allowed to remain open as essential businesses. Cachola said he was heartened by Macy’s reopening, a sign of returning to normal.
Dee-Jay Keama of Kaneohe was shopping with her daughters and found sales on slippers. She said she was excited to see the department store reopen.
Along with Memorial Day weekend sale prices, Macy’s customers found enhanced safety measures in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended protocols. In addition to more frequent cleaning of heavily trafficked areas, plexiglass had been installed at some registers. Signs on the storefront and inside reminded shoppers of the 6-foot social distancing requirement. Customers wore face masks and hand sanitizers were available throughout the store.
Macy’s said it is also asking employees to wear face masks and undergo daily wellness checks before reporting to work.
Hours for the Macy’s stores that opened Friday are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with contactless, curbside pickup service available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Macy’s has extended its return policy and will allow customers to return merchandise purchased online up to 60 days beyond the original end date noted on the receipt. Items purchased in the store, however, must be returned to a store.
The retailer’s Bag Hunger initiative raised $1.5 million in March, including more than $25,000 to support food banks in Hawaii. Customers can continue to support local efforts by rounding up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar and donating the difference to a food bank.
Nordstrom has not reopened its stores for in-person shopping but has been offering curbside pickup at Ala Moana Center. Both pickup and returns are available curbside at the second level of the makai parking structure, according to the retailer’s Facebook page.
Ross Dress for Less announced it will reopen many Hawaii locations at 10 a.m. Sunday and would offer dedicated shopping hours for kupuna ages 55 and older from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays. The retailer’s website listed 15 stores on Oahu and three on Maui, all of which indicated they would reopen Sunday.
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