The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released a blueprint for safe shopping that outlines a phased-in approach for re-opening retail.
The plan urges governors to issue uniform, statewide protocols for retailers to adopt as they reopen stores and work to keep employees and customers safe. Its release comes a week after The Kroger Co. shared a blueprint of its own to help those in other sectors of the economy learn from its experience in operating 2,800 stores, dozens of manufacturing plants and managing hundreds of thousands of employees. The plan’s release also fell on the day that the United Food and Commercial Workers International union launched an ad campaign touting safety measures.
“As conversations turn to the reopening of the economy, retailers are uniquely situated to provide input, because we’ve been on both sides of the stay at home orders.” said Brian Dodge, RILA president. “Groceries, pharmacies and other retailers that have remained open have implemented practices and protocols that are keeping employees and communities safe. The Blueprint released today builds off those successful operating practices. Our goal is for the safe reopen of retail, and we want everyone, policymakers, employees and our customers to know that the industry is ready to Shop Safe.”
“Retailer’s number one priority is customer safety, employee safety, and store and facility environment safety,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Since the onset of the pandemic, retailers have been following the guidance of CDC and other public health experts and are taking additional measures to keep their employees and customers safe.”
The Blueprint was developed in accordance with CDC guidelines and benchmarking by leading retailers with a focus on ensuring the health and wellness of employees and customers. Retailers have been learning from each other throughout this crisis, sharing leading practices and protocols to keep stores clean and sanitized, and keeping customers and employees as safe as possible.
The Blueprint details three phases for reopening retail:
- Phase 1 – Allow E-commerce, Contactless Curbside Pickup & In-Home Delivery
- Phase 2 – Re-Open Stores to the Public, with Social Distancing Protocols & Reduced Occupancy
- Phase 3 – Establish Protection, Then Lift All Restrictions
“Consistent guidelines – without overburdensome regulatory schemes – across all levels of government is critical,” Shay said. “As an industry, we are committed to working with the Administration, Congressional and state leaders, and the professional medical community to help all families Shop Safe.”
“As governors and state health departments evaluate conditions, we want them to have confidence that retailers are adopting the social distancing, hygiene, and sanitization practices necessary to keep customers, employees, and the entire community safe,” said Dodge.