Some Kohl's stores in Chicago's suburbs and across Illinois are set to reopen Friday as the state moves into the third phase of its reopening plan during the coronavirus pandemic.
While a spokeswoman for the company said Thursday that Kohl's had not yet officially announced its store openings in Illinois, a sign at the Elmhurst location said the store would reopen Friday and a representative for the company in Schaumburg confirmed the same.
Kohl's opened stores in at least 14 states earlier this month in accordance with local health restrictions and guidelines. All Kohl's stores in Illinois have been only allowing drive-up, limited contact order pick-up as they remained closed to in-person shopping due to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's stay-at-home order.
The upcoming phase of Illinois' reopening plan allows all retail stores to reopen with capacity limits and safety guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, including face coverings.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen at a maximum of 50% of store capacity, or five customers allowed per 1,000 square feet of retail space. Customers will be required to wear face coverings if medically possible and cannot bring reusable bags into stores, the guidelines dictate.
The Kohl's stores that have reopened thus far have made several changes in accordance with guidelines from health officials and new safety protocol. Those include reduced operating hours, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, as well as dedicated shopping hours for at-risk individuals like seniors, those who are pregnant or people with underlying health conditions. Those hours are from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Kohl's said signage and floor decals have been placed throughout stores to encourage six feet of social distancing, with a particular focus on high-traffic areas like customer service and at checkout. Stores will also operate with a single point of entry, with locations that have two or more entrances closing any additional doors.
A greeter will be stationed at the front of each store to sanitize carts between use and to limit occupancy. Some aisles have also been reconfigured to increase space for customers to pass through, protective barriers have been installed at all registers and Kohl's will offer touchless payment to reduce contact.
Checkout lanes will be cleaned after each transaction and hand sanitized will be available at each register and throughout the store, the company said. Fitting rooms will be closed until further notice, Kohl's said, and the use of beauty testers has been suspended.
Kohl's operates more than 60 stores across Illinois, according to the retailer's website.
Chicago will not be joining Illinois in entering phase three Friday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said. Pritzker's plan allows municipalities to impose more strict restrictions on reopening as they see fit. Lightfoot has said the city likely won't enter a third phase until early June.