Distribution Centers Essential to Serving Communities

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement regarding distribution centers as policymakers around the country are making difficult decisions about which businesses and facilities are considered “essential” and “non-essential” in the interest of public health.

“The health and safety of workers, shoppers, and the public is the number one priority for retailers right now. To that end, companies are working around the clock to ensure stores are stocked with the items that families need most during this crisis. Absolutely essential to that goal, is the functional operation of distribution centers around the country,” said RILA President Brian Dodge. “We fully support state and local leaders adhering to health officials’ guidance and doing what is necessary to keep communities safe. As we all do our part to manage the impact of COVID-19, ensuring our supply chains are as functional as they can be is crucial and we ask that policymakers make clear that distribution centers fall into that essential category.”

In addition to directing goods to store shelves, distribution centers are vital to those now relying on e-commerce or contact-less forms of shopping to receive the items they need.

“Regardless of the means by which shoppers receive their goods, retailers are taking extra care and precautionary measures, both in stores and in distribution centers, to protect workers as they ensure communities have access to food, cleaning supplies, essential household goods, and more,” said RILA Vice President of Supply Chain Jess Dankert.

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

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