Retailers step up to the challenge of stopping the coronavirus

Mar 19, 2020
Written by wpengine

The novel coronavirus has been bringing out the best in retailers who have been reacting with creativity in helping to provide for their customers while taking steps to protect them from infection.

In a statement, Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, said the retail industry is reacting to the pandemic as an opportunity to help the federal government in its efforts to provide essentials while working to protect customers from unnecessary interactions in public.

Beyond the common advice of regular hand washing, social distancing and school closures, retailers are adapting in a rapidly-changing environment:

  • Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has turned to its robust e-commerce capability to enable shoppers to remain home while ordering food and supplies from its stores.
  • Amazon has made a priority of medical supplies and household staples, putting shipments of other goods on hold to focus on key items during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Retailers such as Macy’s and Goodwill are among a long list of companies that have elected to temporarily close their stores to help ensure the health and safety of their customers.
  • Pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have volunteered the use of their parking lots for health care workers to set up stations to test people for infections.
  • Best Buy has seen an uptick in sales of devices to make it easier to work from home; items such as keyboards, monitors, webcams and laptops.
  • Safeway and Albertson’s stores have established exclusive early-morning grocery shopping hours to protect the population most vulnerable to infections from the illness.

These examples are just the highlights of adjustments retailers have made and will continue to make across the nation to meet the needs of customers while taking necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus.

Click here to review a more comprehensive list of retailers and the adjustments they are making.

Washington Retail will continue monitoring and reporting on how the industry is changing to ensure the safety and preparedness of the nation.