Office Depot Offers Free Business Services, 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 and the communities in which they operate. In addition to the sobering news of store closures and employee layoffs and furloughs, there are hundreds if not thousands of brands and retailers that are trying to do their part to help others in need. This daily update offers retail executives the chance to stay-up-to-date on all that's happening within the retail industry, both good news and bad news:
- Office Depot and OfficeMax are currently offering free printing services to help their small business customers help keep their businesses running during this challenging time. The retailers are offering free black-and-white copies, on which new business hours can be printed; free faxing; and free scanning. To help it abide by recommended social distancing practices, printing services are available for delivery as well as curbside pickup.
- Designated an essential business, leading to increased demand for products and services, Ace Hardware and its independent retailers plan to hire more than 30,000 people collectively to further support the communities they serve when they need it most. Full-time, part-time and seasonal positions are available at Ace Hardware's Retail Support Centers, and more than 4,300 locally owned stores across the United States.
- Lifestyle brand Blenders Eyewear has repurposed a portion of its manufacturing to make safety goggles for health workers in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The company will donate 10,000 goggles to Southern California hospitals. Blenders Eyewear is also partnering with Direct Relief, an international humanitarian aid organization, through which it will provide an additional 20,000 pairs of safety goggles to high-need regions in the U.S. such as New York City. In addition, 5 percent of all Blenders' sales throughout April will go to Direct Relief.
- Leading parcel carriers UPS and FedEx both announced that they have suspended their respective service guarantees, citing expected delays and disruptions related to the global coronavirus response. FedEx suspended its global Money Back Guarantee as of March 24 for all FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Office services until further notice. UPS suspended its service guarantee indefinitely for U.S.-originating shipments March 24 and all other originations March 26.