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As COVID-19 spreads, can Macy’s, Apple reopen soon?

Macy’s. Nordstrom. Apple. Sephora. 

The list of stores temporarily shuttering their locations in response to the coronavirus pandemic grows longer each day, with most saying they plan to reopen in roughly two weeks.

But that looks like a stretch.

The calendar may be well into spring, or even early summer before shoppers can stroll store aisles again, as coronavirus cases and deaths  mount, more cities advise residents to shelter in place, and the crisis continues with no clear endpoint in sight. 

“A lot of stores claim they will open at the end of March or very early April,” says Neil Saunders, managing director of the retail consultancy Global Data. “That’s very unrealistic. I think the earliest they will open is in late April or early May. The worst case is that large numbers of stores and malls could be closed until the summer. It is hard to have any certainty right now.”

More than 50 retailers have announced that they are temporarily closing locations because of concerns about COVID-19, from toy haven Build-A-Bear, to beauty giant Sephora, to department store mainstays J.C. Penney and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Retailers are closing due to coronavirus.

Mall owner Simon Property Group announced Wednesday that it is closing its U.S. centers through March 29.  Westfield, which operates 32 malls across the country will only allow “essential” retail shops to stay open during a ten-day period this month.

And starting Friday, Taubman Centers is shuttering all but two of its properties through March 29.

Shoppers rush to stock up amid coronavirus:Preparing for the coronavirus: Shoppers are finding empty shelves, long lines at stores nationwide

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