March Imports Forecast to Hit 5-Year Low, Other COVID-19 Retail News
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, helping to inform future plans and strategies:
- Estimates show that imports at major U.S. retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, and imports are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
- Aaron's, a leading omnichannel provider of lease-purchase solutions, announced its Woodhaven Furniture manufacturing facility has converted manufacturing capacity to produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, sheets and gowns, to donate to local medical centers. Aaron's partnered with PruittHealth, a healthcare organization that offers skilled nursing care, home health care and other medical services across the Southeast, to donate thousands of protective cloth masks over the next few weeks.
- Verizon has launched a Small Business Webinar Series to help small business owners impacted by the global spread of the coronavirus. The 30-minute series features experts who will share practical advice, insight and tips on how small businesses can survive during these unprecedented times. This series is part of numerous companywide efforts to support small businesses, including a $2.5 million donation to Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s (LISC) small business COVID-19 relief efforts.
- Women in Retail Leadership Circle, sister brand of Total Retail, recently published a podcast episode featuring an interview with Joelle Grunberg, global brand president at Sperry, a Wolverine Worldwide brand know for its iconic boat shoe. In the episode, Grunberg addresses how she’s communicating with both her team and stakeholders, how she keeps her team motivated in the current environment, and her advice for managing people working from home.
- On National Rosie the Riveter Day (March 21), R.Riveter put out a call to for riveters to rivet hand-sewn face mask covers in an effort to provide much needed supplies to the front lines fighting against COVID-19. In addition to developing a pattern and initiative to mobilize citizens to sew mask covers, R.Riveter dedicated its recently opened facility in Hardee County, Florida, to producing much needed personal protection equipment (PPE) like masks and gowns. R.Riveter is a handbag company that has built a remote network of riveters to produce handbags, in support of providing flexible mobile income for military spouses.