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New York's underwhelming reopening: Big names including Sephora, Coach, and Kate Spade will not open

The first phase of New York City’s reopening is set for Monday, as non-essential businesses like retail stores can once again open their doors, but it will still be far from the pre-coronavirus lockdown days that shoppers once experienced.

While retail stores will be open, business will only be limited to curbside or in-store pickup in order to limit the transaction time as well as interaction between shoppers and employees.

But some popular brand names will not be opening their stores at all on Monday.

Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman locations in the Big Apple will remain closed on Monday - this despite the fact that hundreds of their stores across North America, Europe, and Asia have reopened in recent weeks.

A boarded-up Stuart Weitzman location is seen on Madison Avenue in New York City on Tuesday. The store will remain closed during phase one of the city's reopening on Monday

Sephora, the popular beauty products seller, will also remain closed as of Monday. A Sephora store is seen above on Thursday on New York's Fifth Avenue

A Coach store on Fifth Avenue which was looted on Monday night is boarded up as seen on Tuesday. Coach will also not be opening its doors on Monday

Workers on Wednesday remove fixtures from a Kate Spade store in the Flatiron neighborhood in New York after looting and vandalization associated with the protests related to the death of George Floyd. Kate Spade locations will not be opened on Monday

All three brands are properties of their parent company, Tapestry Inc.

Sephora will also remain closed as of Monday, according to the New York Post.

According to Bloomberg News, around half of Tapestry’s retail locations in the United States and Canada are open for curbside service.

But the company is being more cautious when it comes to its New York operations, given that the city was hit hardest by COVID-19.

Ulta Beauty Inc, the popular cosmetics brand, also has no plans to resume business in New York City come Monday.

Of the company’s 51 locations in New York State, just seven will be open for curbside pickup on Monday, but none of those will be in New York City.

Retailers are taking it very slow since many of their employees do not feel safe enough to go back to work given the possibility of additional COVID-19 outbreaks.

‘Phase 1 is only going to have a minor impact on retail and retail employment,’ Stuart Applebaum, president of the 60,000-member Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, told the New York Post.

‘Most retail workers will remain unemployed.’

Applebaum said workers are ‘frightened’ to return to work, which for many requires them to take mass transit.

The Bloomingdale’s location on East 60th Street will offer curbside pickup services, as will the Macy’s in Herald Square.

The Macy’s flagship store was looted on Monday just after 11pm, when dozens of people broke their way through the boarded-up entrance and ran into the store.

The Macy's flagship store in New York's Herald Square, which was also hit by looters late on Monday, will offer curbside pickup service to customers beginning on Monday

They dispersed after police arrived and began making arrests.

Looting was also reported earlier this week in parts of SoHo, Midtown, and The Bronx.

The looting and arson were part of the protests triggered by the police-involved death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis on May 25.

According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, between 200,000 and 400,000 people will be going back to work when the city begins its first phase of reopening.

The city has met Governor Andrew Cuomo’s benchmarks that allow localities to restart business activity in their regions. All other regions of New York State were permitted to reopen last month.

New York City reduced the rate of new hospitalizations to at most two per 100,000 residents a day, or about 170 a day in the city; increased its hospital-bed vacancy rate; increased intensive-care bed vacancy rate; and has at least 30 contact tracers per 100,000 residents.

The reopening allows employees working in construction, wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail to return to their jobs provided that companies have put in place proper safety procedures.

Other businesses that entail close contact and heightened exposure to germs, like hair salons, gyms, and restaurants, will only be allowed to reopen in the second phase, which is expected sometime in July.

Cuomo on Saturday announced that there were just 35 COVID-19 deaths on Friday - the lowest reported daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.

At its peak some two months ago, more than 800 New York State residents were dying on a daily basis due to COVID-19.  

Bloomingdale's shoppers will also be able to purchase items through curbside pickup beginning on Monday

The governor said that the encouraging data will allow an accelerated reopening of places of worship in the second phase.

Churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples will be permitted to reopen at 25 per cent capacity - so long as social distancing is observed.

Cuomo also pledged to sign an executive order banning price gouging of personal protective equipment. 

Bill de Blasio announces plan to expand outdoor dining in New York and says more streets will be open to pedestrians in July after he DELAYS phase 2 reopening

De Blasio announced Thursday that restaurants in New York City could begin reopening from early July with a focus on outdoor seating.

The mayor announced a later date than expected for phase two of reopening from coronavirus shutdown, pushing it back to next month.

The city was originally thought to begin phase two of reopening on June 22, two weeks after it starts in phase one this Monday.     

When phase two does begin, however, de Blasio said that new ways for restaurants to enforce social distancing while still opening up for business and bringing back employees were being explored. 

It means that the city could allow restaurants to co-opt streets and space currently reserved for parking. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City restaurants could begin reopening from early July when the city enters into phase two. It begins phase one of reopening on Monday 

A new program called Open Restaurants could allow restaurants to co-opt streets and space currently reserved for parking when New York City reaches phase two of reopening

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Open Restaurants on Thursday which would explore ways for social distancing to be maintained in phase two of reopening which could start in July

An Open Restaurant program will work alongside Open Streets to identify commercial strips with a high number of restaurants that could be closed off to traffic to allow more seating outside. 

The program would also make it easier for restaurants to set up side walk seating, and curbside restaurant seating, allowing for businesses to open and hopefully rebound while maintaining social distancing.  

'We’ll do what it takes to help this key part of life in New York City, this key part of the economy, the wellspring, livelihood of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to come back,' de Blasio said. 

'To come back strong starting in phase two in July.

'This is going to be another important step but again health and safety first,' he added. 

'In phase two, we will be able to move on to many other types of businesses and as we heard from the state, that can also include reopening a number of our restaurants with a focus on outdoors and that’s the way we want to go. 

'We have a new initiative, Open Restaurants, that will focus on what it takes to make outdoor seating work. We will provide a plan to help restaurants set up that outdoor seating to help them bring their employees back.

'We will provide a massive expansion of curb side seating, a massive expansion of open streets.' 

The mayor warned, however, that the reopening continues to rely on safety concerns involved in doing so. 

Mayor De Blasio announced the creation of Open Restaurants in a Friday press conference

The scheme would allow for more sidewalk and curbside seating for restaurants

'Everything we’re doing, it's to ensure that it’s done safely,' he said.

'To ensure that this disease does not spread, that we beat it back and as our test and tract program comes into high gear this week, that we fight back. 

'At the same time that we help businesses stay safe, bring back people’s livelihood, bring back what people love about this place, we fight this disease back every day.'

De Blasio also announced further promising signs in the drop of hospitalizations and rates of positive testing in the city. 

The threshold for hospitalizations per day in order to continue reopening lies at under 200 a day and there were just 48 hospitalizations on Wednesday. 

ICU patients are also below the threshold. There are now 354 patients in ICU in the city.  

The rate of those testing positive for coronavirus in New York City has now dropped to three percent, well below the 15 percent threshold.

This is the lowest rate of positive tests seen in the city since the start of the pandemic, de Blasio added. 

ICU space, hospitalizations and positive test rates were three of the main factors holding back the city's reopening. 

Hospitalizations from coronavirus dropped to 48 in New York City on Wednesday

The number of ICU patients in NYC is remaining below the threshold needed for reopening

The rate of those testing positive for coronavirus in New York City has now dropped to three percent, well below the 15 percent threshold needed. This is the lowest rate of positive tests seen in the city since the start of the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday

As of Friday there were 202,317 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City. 

There were also 16,992 confirmed coronavirus deaths and a further 4,760 deaths that are thought probable to have been linked to the disease. 

According to data from NYC Department of Health, there were no confirmed coronavirus deaths in NYC on Wednesday and three probably deaths.

There were just 27 new cases confirmed. 

The news of NYC's latest time frame for phase two came after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that restaurants in the seven regions of the state that have already entered phase two of reopening can reopen for outdoor dining from Thursday.

Restaurants that reopen must follow social distancing guidelines, including placing outdoor tables six feet apart, all staff must wear face masks, and customers must also wear face masks when not seated.

'We are continuously evaluating activities that can be safely reopened, and today we are adding outdoor seating at restaurants to phase two,' said Cuomo.

The latest easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions applies to the seven regions that have entered the second phase of the four-step reopening plan, which includes the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York.

The areas that will have to wait longer for outdoor dining include Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley, which entered the first phase of reopening last week, and New York City. 

As the virus epicenter of the world not long ago, New York City trails behind the other regions in the states in the reopening phases. 

Restaurants and bars were some of the first businesses shuttered in the state back on March 16 to help slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Many stayed open for takeout and delivery service but this has not been enough to limit the widespread job losses across the industry.  

Nationwide, the restaurant and bar industry has been hardest hit by the pandemic, with stark data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and collated by the National Restaurant Association revealing that a staggering six million US restaurant workers have lost their jobs during the pandemic.      

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