Macy’s stores open with deals and pandemic precautions but few shoppers – TribLIVE

Patti Noel came out of Macy’s at the Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer on Friday with three full bags and plans to go back in for more.

Noel, of Kittanning, said came to the mall to shop at JoAnn Fabrics, not knowing Macy’s was reopening after having been closed in the covid-19 pandemic. She saw the cars parked outside and checked it out.

“What a surprise,” she said. “I’ve been in there three hours. What good buys. It’s amazing.”

But, Noel said, “There’s nobody in there.”

Macy’s reopened several of its stores in the Pittsburgh area Friday. In addition to the Pittsburgh Mills, stores at the Monroeville, Ross Park, South Hills Village, Robinson and Westmoreland malls reopened.

The company said the stores would be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and state and local authorities.

A manager at the Pittsburgh Mills store said he was not permitted to respond to questions.

Marc Mastronardi, chief stores officer at Macy’s, said in a statement that “we are ready to welcome our customers back to Macy’s stores in the Pittsburgh community.” astronardi said the store had added new precautions for customers and employees, including curbside pick-up and plexiglass shields at registers.

At entries, signs state that face masks are required, and the first hour of business is reserved for shoppers age 65 and over or with serious underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for covid-19.

Other signs advise shoppers of other efforts, such as increased cleaning and air ventilation and reminders about social distancing and other preventative basics.

Several people wearing masks filtered into Macy’s at Westmoreland Mall on Friday afternoon.

In addition to the signs, a worker sanitized door handles at the outside entrance.

Madison and Leah Bluebaugh, of Rockwood, Somerset County, were bridal dress shopping at MB Brides when they headed to the Hempfield mall to see if Macy’s was open.

Both were excited that retail stores are starting to reopen with precautions.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Madison Bluebaugh, 25. “I’m a nurse in Morgantown, so I understand the whole precautionary limits that they’re taking. I think it’s good, but I think it’s good to get back to that normalcy, too, because that’s what people need.”

John Kifer, 73, of Perryopolis, Fayette County, was picking up a suit he bought before businesses were ordered to close. The day he was set to pick the suit up following alterations was the same day Macy’s closed.

“I had to wait for the suit but I wasn’t going anywhere — so what difference did it make?” he said, laughing.

Kifer added he was happy to see the department store opened and things returning to normal.

Still, he said, it is not the same normal as before the pandemic.

“It feels different,” he said. “It feels strange. It’s not as comfortable, of course, with the mask on. But hopefully someday we’ll get back to a more normal routine.”

Julie Manley, 58, of Greensburg, agreed.

“I don’t think they’re back to how it usually is in there. … It’s like a lot of places are still pretty dark in there, but there’s people,” she said. “I don’t know that they’re up at full capacity.”

Marianne McQuade, of Tarentum, was among several shoppers seen bringing returns to the Pittsburgh Mills location. She wanted to return her online purchase at the store because she was told it would take seven weeks for her account to be credited if she did it through the mail.

While Macy’s was open, the rest of the enclosed mall remained closed.

“I called and they were open,” she said. “I’m glad. Very glad. Macy’s is an anchor here. We really need this store in Pittsburgh Mills.”

With plans to go to Lowe’s and Walmart, McQuade said she isn’t worried.

“I wear the mask, I keep a safe distance and all that,” she said. “I’m in good health.”

Donna Tedesco, of Cheswick, brought back a gold chain she bought online that was too short. She looked for something else but came out empty-handed.

Tedesco said she’s looking forward to Sunday, when one of her favorite stores, Ross Dress for Less, is scheduled to reopen at Pittsburgh Mills.

Other Ross locations opening include Greensburg, Fox Chapel area, Homestead, and Ross Township, according to the store’s website.

“I can’t wait for Ross to open back up,” Tedesco said. “Ross is my store. I miss that store.”

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Macy’s stores open with deals and pandemic precautions but few shoppers – TribLIVE

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