Retail Re-opening Resources

For other COVID response resources for retailers and/or employers, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Guide.


  • Protecting the safety and well-being of both employees and customers is paramount to ensuring we can open up our economy and keep businesses and communities thriving in the state of Washington. This is why the Washington Retail Association has joined forces with 10 other partner associations to launch the “Stay Safe, Stay Open” campaign to promote the importance of facial coverings as a tool to combat this virus. We encourage you to visit this campaign and share these useful promotional materials with your staff and customers. Together we can help save both lives and livelihoods in our state. Stay safe, stay open!
  • WR’s Retail COVID Safety Operational Plan and In-store Posters in English and Spanish will also help you prepare for each phase of your reopening.

When the entire retail sector is prepared to meet this challenge by giving consumers the assurance that reopening our economy is gradual and well-thought out, customers will come back with confidence.



Retail opening updates:

Effective May 26, 2020, previously authorized retail must implement all requirements under Phase 2 In Store Retail.


Re-opening Education Series (upcoming and/or recordings):

Navigating employee leave options: Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) and COVID Expanded Leaves Webinar recording and presentation

Paid leave options have expanded due to COVID. Employers will do well to not only understand the requirements. This presentation offers a side-by-side comparison of the state and federal expanded COVID leaves based on rules and legislation passed.


Safe Re-opening Tips and Best Practices  Webinar recording and presentation

For retailers who are about to enter Phase II (Limited In-Store) opening, you will learn tips and best practices from retail and safety experts, including marketing after COVID and practical operating experience during COVID. You will gain insights into making the Retail COVID Safety Operational Plan real to build employee and customer confidence.


Retail Doctor explains how to reopen your store
Watch the video here.

Retail consultant Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, is sharing a short video to help retailers reopen from the coronavirus pandemic with the right attitude and strategy.

Phibbs’ premise is straightforward: he said COVID-19 was a “seismic shock” to the trust customers used to have with retailers. Store owners must win back their customers’ trust to survive the pandemic, he explains in his video.

In short, Phibbs advises:

  • Retrain your employees to project hope, not fear or discomfort, with shoppers.
  • The key to recovery will be sales approached creatively, not passively. Employees must hone interpersonal skills that can increase sales, not passivity that passes up opportunities to help shoppers make discoveries they did not plan before they came into the store.
  • Don’t be intimidated that online sales threaten your store’s chances for recovery. Phibbs says owners, managers and employees must make their store the hub of their brands, not the ugly stepchild of an online competitor.