How Retailers and Brands Are Responding to the Ongoing Coronavirus Crisis
Total Retail is continuing its daily coverage of how retailers and brands are responding to the coronavirus global pandemic. As retailers try to figure out how to navigate these uncertain times, it's helpful to look at the ways others in our community are responding. Below are examples of retailers giving back during this time, as well as some resources Total Retail thinks you'll find beneficial.
- Crocs announced earlier this week that it was prepared to donate — and ship free — up to 10,000 pairs a day of its colorful, molded-resin clogs to medical community workers across the country. The program, called “A Free Pair for Healthcare," works like this: Every day, at approximately 9 a.m. PST, the Crocs’ website will begin taking orders for one pair of shoes per healthcare worker from select classic clog or Crocs At Work styles up to a daily limit of 10,000 pairs. Once that number of orders has been reached, a notification advises visitors to return the next day and try again. "The healthcare industry has always embraced Crocs, but our mantra of ‘be comfortable in your own shoes’ applies now more than ever, and we want to do more to help our nation’s heroes,” said Crocs President and Chief Executive Andrew Rees.
- Walmart said earlier this week that it is waiving rent during the month of April for the more than 10,000 businesses that operate within Walmart Supercenters and Sam’s Clubs, including hair and nail salons, optometrists, restaurant franchises, veterinary clinics, and local and regional banks. "It’s our hope that this rent relief will help these businesses financially weather the current situation and take care of their employees." Walmart said it will continue to monitor the need for additional support past April. The company also said it is making changes to its supply chain financing program to help qualified suppliers get payments faster. The retailer is adding dedicated resources to speed up its onboarding process and eliminate an eligibility requirement, and has added a third banking partner, JPMorgan Chase, joining Citibank and Wells Fargo. “More than two-thirds of our 18,000 suppliers are small and medium-sized businesses that could benefit from this newly enhanced program,” the company said.
- As the world faces ventilator shortages in the growing COVID-19 pandemic, Dyson, the U.K. company known best for making vacuums, air purifiers, and hair dryers, designed and built a new ventilator in 10 days in coordination with The Technology Partnership (TTP), Fast Company has reported. Dubbed CoVent, it’s a bed-mounted, portable ventilator that can run from battery power in field hospital conditions. Working under a grant from the U.K. government, with oversight from the U.K. National Health Service and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Dyson has agreed to produce 10,000 ventilators for the country. On top of that, it will produce another 5,000 ventilators for donation. One thousand of those will go to the U.K. The remaining 4,000 will go to other countries.
- On March 24, lululemon athletica CEO Calvin McDonald announced on Twitter that the company was setting up a $2 million Ambassador Relief Fund to assist ambassador studio owners during this difficult time. "The fund provides basic operating cost coverage to sweat businesses that have been affected by COVID-19," McDonald said. lululemon's ambassadors are a key part of its branding effort in local communities around the world. In partnership with the company, ambassadors help test new products and gather valuable feedback from customers.