Retailers Urge Local Leaders to Coordinate COVID-19 Response

Retailers are asking state governors and mayors to reach out to retail leaders before issuing decisions to close or curtail retail business operations as they work to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  
In a letter sent to Governor Larry Hogan, Chairman of the National Governors Association and Mayor Bryan Barnett, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the National Retail Federation (NRF) asked elected officials to communicate and coordinate with retailers to provide certainty and clarity before making decisions on whether to close or curtail retail business operations.
“This is an unprecedented situation that demands an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, and community retailers are eager to do their part,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation. “Whatever the challenge, retailers have prepared in advance to serve the critical needs of their customers and employees. They can quickly and thoughtfully adjust a wide variety of practices, including supply chains, stores, and policies impacting communities they serve.”
Advance notice and consultation with retail leaders can avoid causing disruption from consumers overwhelming stores and exhausting available supplies quickly. It will also enable retailers to prepare their supply chains to handle customer needs both before and after recommended, or even mandatory, store closing orders by government officials.
“Families are counting on retailers right now and retailers are determined to be there for them,” said RILA president Brian Dodge. “We encourage elected officials to make every attempt to communicate with retail leaders to discuss recommendations on whether to close or curtail business operations.  It is also important that, if a recommendation is made, it provides sufficient time for employers to craft and put in place contingency plans for employees and those impacted communities before it becomes effective.”
Retail Industry Leaders Association
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.
National Retail Federation
The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies.
  • Human Resources
  • Public Policy
  • Supply Chain
  • Building Communities
  • Keeping Communities Safe
  • Leading in the Community
  • Retail Impact
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Retail Works for All of Us

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter