In a plan that frames a phased-in approach to opening retail again, the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) debuted a Blueprint for Shopping Safe. The document asks governors to provide uniform and statewide procedures for merchants to use as they reopen stores and work to keep staffers, as well as shoppers, safe, according to an announcement.
The plan was created in line with guidelines from the CDC and benchmarking by top retailers with an eye on ensuring the wellness and health of customers as well as staffers. It noted that retailers have been taking lessons from each other during the coronavirus emergency, as they shared procedures and practices to maintain the cleanliness and sanitization of retail locations while maintaining the safety of workers and shoppers as much as possible.
“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,” RILA President Brian Dodge said in the announcement. “Groceries, pharmacies and other retailers that have remained open have implemented practices and protocols that are keeping employees and communities safe.”
The Blueprint for Shopping Safe outlines three different phases for reopening. The first phase is to allow online shopping as well as contactless curbside pickup and in-home delivery, while the second phase is to open stores to the public again with social distancing steps and decreased occupancy. And the third phase is to “establish protection, then lift all restrictions” per the announcement.
In separate news, many large retail chains were wary of reopening even as some states progress toward restarting their economies after the shutdown caused by the coronavirus crisis. Gap Inc., Macy’s Inc. and TGI Fridays Inc. were some of the big national chains noting they will not participate in the early phase of reopening in places such as Georgia and South Carolina.