Ways Retail Businesses Are Responding to the Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis
Total Retail is continuing its daily coverage of how the retail sector is responding to the COVID-19 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. These are some ways retailers are reacting during this time or giving back however they can, as well as some resources Total Retail thinks you'll find beneficial.
- Gap Inc. announced it plans to use its factory resources to make masks, scrubs, gowns and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers on the front lines. The retailer also temporarily closed all of its company-owned and operated stores across North America, effective March 19.
- Some major U.S. retail and restaurant chains are calling for rent reductions through lease amendments and other measures starting in April. Mattress Firm and Subway are among the chain companies that are telling their landlords they can't pay their rents entirely due to store closures made to slow the spread of coronavirus. If these companies do withhold rent, it could cause a ripple effect since a lot of landlords can't afford to stop collecting rent for an extended period of time.
- Lightspeed, a point-of-sale and e-commerce software provider, introduced new initiatives to support its local retail and restaurant customers that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes three free services for three months to their customers. Lightspeed will also be reimbursing its employees in its 14 global offices up to $500 in local currency for purchases employees make from any Lightspeed retail or restaurant customer.
- Instacart will bring on 300,000 new shoppers for its grocery delivery platform over the next three months. This move will help manage an increase in demand due to the coronavirus, with more people opting to order their groceries online rather than going to grocery stores in-person. The new shoppers will be in 5,500 cities, and will be offered sick pay.
- Neiman Marcus has partnered with Joann Stores to sew masks, gowns and scrubs to provide to medical workers. The two retailers are donating their employees' time and materials to make the protective gear. The first shipment will go out to health care providers later this week, and both companies are covering their costs.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.