Caleres Inc. said it has begun a phased reopening of its Famous Footwear and branded – Allen Edmonds, Naturalizer and Sam Edelman – retail stores in a safe and systematic manner.
Recently, Caleres began to reopen retail stores in areas where restrictions have been relaxed or lifted. The company will progress with this approach over the next several weeks and currently expects to have approximately 435 locations open by the end of May. Caleres is closely monitoring state and local restrictions and guidelines as it moves forward with the resumption of in-store operations across its entire store fleet. Caleres anticipates the vast majority of its stores to restart in-store service by the end of June.
“After careful and extensive planning, we are pleased to be taking this important step in the resumption of our store operations, which we view as a core component of the Caleres value proposition and an essential complement to our digital platform,” said Diane Sullivan, chief executive officer, president and chairman. “With the reopening of our brick-and-mortar operations, we will again be able to offer our customers a full suite of shopping and delivery options, while providing them with the added convenience, service and immediacy that an in-person experience affords. Over the next several weeks, we look forward to welcoming back Associates and safely greeting our customers.”
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures
Caleres’ top priority is the health and safety of its Associates and its customers, and the company is taking numerous steps and following government guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable in-store experience for all parties. Caleres is customizing its stores to ensure appropriate distancing and contactless transactions; equipping its Associates to provide the most health-conscious service and intensifying its already rigorous cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
“It is critically important that we make every effort to ensure that our customers and Associates feel confident, comfortable and safe as they return to a familiar shopping experience and work environment,” Sullivan continued. “As we look toward the next round of store openings, we will take lessons from this first phase and adjust accordingly.”
As stores reopen, details on what specifics brands are doing to create safe environments for customers can be found on: famousfootwear.com, allenedmonds.com, naturalizer.com and samedelman.com.
During the recent period of store closures, Caleres leveraged its brand power and the upfront investments made in its e-commerce platform to shift to a digital-only business. Since that time, Caleres has consistently explored ways to reach its consumers and meet their evolving needs. In recent weeks, the company has implemented a contactless curbside pickup option at approximately 170 locations across the country, with the expectation that this service will be expanded to reach nearly 300 stores by next week. This additional service channel provides an important supplement to the strong e-commerce-related sales the company has experienced – particularly at Famous Footwear.
Solid Financial Position
Caleres has focused sharply on managing costs, reducing capital expenditures, driving down inventory levels and boosting liquidity and has maintained a stable cash position since the store closures in mid-March. The company expects that the gradual add back of its brick & mortar operations, coupled with strength in its e-commerce-related business establishes a viable path to positive cash generation in the year’s second half.
“Whether consumers are returning to the retail world in person, opting to shop online or picking up curbside, we will be ready. Our Associates are prepared, our capabilities are in place, and our financial foundation is solid. Looking ahead, the actions we have taken to improve our agility, flexibility and speed will enable us to continue to evolve with the quickly changing expectations of our consumers.”
Photo courtesy Caleres/Allen Edmonds