Washington Retail has signed a letter by the Retail Industry Leaders Association urging all the nation’s Governors to allow stores to remain open during the holiday shopping season.
The retail industry has adjusted during the COVID-19 pandemic in several ways to ensure safe shopping environments, the letter states.
“Regardless of what they sell, retailers have earned the confidence of customers and regulators alike by putting safety first,” it reads.
The holiday season ultimately determines the health of the retail industry, which supports one in four American jobs. Most retailers earn the majority of their annual business in the last quarter of the year, during the holidays.
The letter notes that retailers have spread out promotions both in stores and online; expanded e-commerce offerings; added curbside and other contactless delivery options; and installed protective barriers at checkout stands and sanitation stations at entrances.
Retailers also began urging the use of facial coverings early in the pandemic and often ahead of government requirements. In addition, the industry has enabled expanded testing options by donating their parking lots for drive-up service.
The letter urges Governors to concentrate on safe retailing protocols rather than outdated designations of what merchandise retailers sell to determine whether stores can remain open.