The department store chain Boscov’s said Thursday that it would reopen stores outside Philadelphia this weekend, falling in step with plans by Pennsylvania officials to incrementally shift life back to normal during the coronavirus pandemic.
Five Boscov’s stores — in Bensalem, Exton, Media, Plymouth Meeting, and Pottstown — are expected to open Saturday at 11 a.m., joining a short but growing roster of the chain’s stores that have reopened in central Pennsylvania in the last few weeks. Locations in New Jersey remained closed, with no announcement of when they could reopen.
Nonessential retail can open in New Jersey on June 15.
Boscov’s said it had implemented safety protocols at its reopened stores that include intensified cleaning, plastic shields at registers, and extra hygiene rules at its makeup counters. Customers must also wear a face mask to enter stores.
“It is a new world for all of us," Jim Boscov, Boscov’s chief executive, said last month. Furloughed employees would return with the reopenings, the Reading-based chain added.
Big-name apparel retailers, many struggling with subpar sales during the pandemic, have eagerly waited to resume in-person operations. As a handful of states, or regions within those states, began to ease restrictions on travel and businesses, chains — ranging from Macy’s, Gap, and Best Buy to Ulta and Costco — said they would look to reopen stores in areas where the coronavirus was deemed less of a threat.
In Philadelphia, which had 23,281 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday, thousands of businesses have stopped in-person shopping and continued to stay closed, or pursued online sales, since the start of the crisis.
Montgomery County had the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the Philadelphia region, at 7,351, followed by Delaware County at 6,587, Bucks County at 5,158, and Chester County at 2,902, according to the latest figures.