Daily News Updates for Retailers in Wake of COVID-19
Here are the latest stories to emerge as retailers and brands deal with the impact that the global spread of the coronavirus has had on their businesses. This daily update offers retail executives the chance to stay-up-to-date on all that's happening within the retail industry, particularly as they put into motion their own COVID-19 response plans.
- Nearly 1,000-plus e-commerce professionals have formed the community-led initiative Offline2On to help small and midsized businesses (SMBs) get online fast and optimize online sales in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses needing help or advice can visit offline2on.com/merchants and complete a short request form, or visit offline2on.com/directory to browse a list of agencies to contact directly.
- Olga Jaeckel, founder of children's clothing brand Little Olin, shared how her company is facing the cross-border challenges of coronavirus in this episode of Women in Retail Talks, the podcast produced by Total Retail's sister brand, Women in Retail Leadership Circle. Click here to listen.
- Office Depot announced a new same-day delivery offering and several other convenient pickup options in select areas through partnerships with Shipt and Deliv. Click here for more information and the full list of available locations.
- Supermarket Publix is offering rent assistance to tenants in its shopping centers who have closed their businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. The grocer is waiving two months' rent, maintenance fees and taxes to businesses that operate in the 282 shopping centers that Publix owns, according to a news release.
- Costco announced new restrictions for shoppers, allowing only one guest in stores per member. Costco explained on its site that this temporary change is for the safety of its members and workers "and to further assist with our social distancing efforts." The company has already cut back on hours, announced dedicated shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable, and made several other changes.
- Retailers continue to announce plans to furlough or layoff workers. Recent updates include:
- Gap is furloughing nearly 80,000 store employees in the United States and Canada;
- Kohl's is furloughing about 85,000 of its approximately 122,000 employees;
- Neiman Marcus announced that a '"large portion" of its 14,000 employees will take furloughs or pay cuts;
- L Brands is furloughing most store staff and “those who are not currently working to support the online businesses or who cannot work from home,” starting April 5;
- Rent the Runway laid off all retail employees; and
- Everlane laid off or furloughed nearly 300 of its workers.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Women in Retail Leadership Circle and sister brand Total Retail. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for both brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment recording interviews with retailers.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.