by Stephen Garner

On Wednesday, June 24th, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom NYC will reopen their respective New York flagship stores as New York City moves into Phase 2 of its reopening plan this week. The two retailers will reopen with enhanced health and safety protocols and modified services to ensure the safest and most comfortable shopping experience.

Saks said it has implemented a number of measures upon reopening, including enhanced cleaning protocols and regular sanitization of high-touch areas, such as fitting rooms and point-of-sale areas. Saks has also installed state-of-the-art ultra-violet handrail cleaners on all 22 escalators located throughout the store.

Saks is also limiting the use of elevators to seniors and those with health issues. The retailer is also displaying signage at escalators to ensure appropriate spacing between people, requiring associates to wear face coverings and to undergo daily health screenings, and requiring all customers to wear face coverings when visiting Saks, in accordance with the current New York state mandate.

Upon reopening, Saks will also offer several new contactless service options including Saks by Appointment, virtual shopping, Saks at Home, Sidewalk pick-up and returns on 49th Street near Madison Avenue, and same-day delivery to The Hamptons.

Saks will also continue to offer personal shopping services through the men’s and women’s Fifth Avenue Clubs. Additionally, the flagship will have a dedicated centralized desk located on the main floor for processing returns. The store will operate with reduced hours Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.

“The reopening of our New York flagship store is a pivotal milestone for Saks Fifth Avenue and another opportunity for us to set the standard for delivering a safe, easy and personalized shopping experience,” said Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue. “With a fashion-forward merchandise assortment and unparalleled service offerings and experiences, our flagship serves as the beacon for our entire store fleet. We look forward to our grand reentrance to New York and showcasing new and innovative ways to shop while maintaining the high level of service for which Saks is known. On behalf of the entire team, we are thrilled to welcome customers back to Saks New York.”

Nordstrom is following a similar approach. The retailer will be opening its main NYC flagship, Men’s Store, two Nordstrom Rack stores, and Nordstrom Local stores on the Upper East Side and the West Village.

When reopening on Wednesday, the retailer will focus on conducting health screenings for its employees before they come into work and provide face coverings for employees and customers. Nordstrom is also taking steps to allow for social distancing of six feet or more, including limiting the number of customers and employees in the store. Increasing cleaning and sanitization, a modified fitting room experience, and contactless curbside services at its full-line stores will also be implemented.