At least two small cap retailers are confident enough the COVID-19 situation is abating that they have set a date for the reopening of their stores.

This morning footwear store owner Accent Group (ASX:AX1) announced it would be re-opening on May 11. This followed Myer (ASX:MYR) which last week announced it would also open its doors on that date.

Myer was previously due to re-open this morning, April 27, but extended the closure by two weeks.

Accent Group has kept a small number of stores operational in recent weeks only to stock inventory and handle click and collect orders.

The company reported digital sales averaged between $800,000 and $1.1m per day in the last fortnight, which is up from $250,000 per day in March.

Accent stressed it would adhere to the social distancing measures already in place by setting customer capacity limits, as well as implement new measures like using disposable try on socks and contactless payments.

The move comes a day after the Queensland and West Australian governments eased restrictions on shopping, now allowing people to shop for non-essential items.

In Victoria, May 11 is the earliest date the state of emergency order will end.


The ecommerce shift is permanent

Accent Group thinks the COVID-19 inspired rise in digital shopping will be permanent. It warned some stores may be closed in coming months if it cannot reach “sustainable and fair” rental deals.

“It is clear that there has been a seismic and most likely enduring shift in consumer behaviour away from traditional shopping centres to shopping online,” CEO Daniel Agostinelli said.

“Accent Group is capitalising on this trend. We will continue to drive digital growth as the number one priority in our company.”

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