Conflicting Local Orders Creating Mass Confusion

Leading Retailers Urge Governors to Preempt Local Orders

Retailers are committed to working with elected leaders and law enforcement to keep our communities safe through the current COVID-19 crisis, but well-intentioned local directives are creating mass confusion and inconsistent guidelines across communities, forcing retailers to shift valuable resources and time away from existing efforts to safeguard employees and customers.

To address this, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and National Retail Federation (NRF) are calling on governors to preempt confusing and often ambiguous local directives that often conflict with recommendations provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Essential businesses that remain open are taking extraordinary steps to ensure everyone has the food, tools, and essential goods they need to weather this crisis, while doing everything they can to keep stores safe for the public,” said Brian Dodge, RILA president.

The letter sent today to state and local leaders specifically calls for governors to preempt confusing and conflicting local orders that are creating operational challenges for retailers. 

“Resources from retail to law enforcement are being tested and stretched thin as the country bans together to slow the spread of COVID-19. We strongly urge governors who have taken the lead throughout this crisis to issue concise, statewide orders that create clarity for essential businesses, local governments, and law enforcement,” said Dodge.


RILA is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation. Our aim is to elevate a dynamic industry by transforming the environment in which retailers operate.

RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs, and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

  • Public Policy
  • Supply Chain
  • Building Communities
  • Investing in People
  • Leading in the Community
  • Retail Impact
  • Thank You Retail Workers

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter