US-based private department store chain Belk has revealed plans to reopen stores despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The retailer will start inviting associates back into their local stores. It is planning to reopen stores in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma on 1 May.

Stores will be open with reduced hours in compliance with the recommended safety precautions from the CDC and state and local health authorities.

Belk will restrict the number of people shopping in the store and make sure its customers and associates follow social distancing standards.

Throughout next month, the retailer is planning to bring back into business more stores in additional US states.

Belk CEO Belk said: “For more than 130 years, the health and safety of our customers and associates has remained a top priority.

“While the shopping experience may look a little different, our commitment to offering quality products at a value customers deserve, providing exceptional service, and helping our local communities remains true to who we are.

“We sincerely thank everyone who has supported us during this unprecedented time. We are especially grateful for our remarkable team of Belk associates.”

Belk is also launching a limited contact shopping option, Curbside Pickup, at a number of its stores.

This option allows customers to collect their products ordered online or via the app during the designated hours on the same day of order placement.