NRF, RILA outline safe shopping

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Last week Kroger supplied a “blueprint” for retailers and businesses to follow when managing operations during the coronavirus and beyond, and now two leading retail associations have teamed up to deliver their own guidelines for safer shopping.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) released “Open for Business - A Blueprint for Shopping Safe,” an outline that aims to help retailers roll out a phased-in approach to reopening retail stores fully.

Part of the plan urges governors to issue uniform, statewide protocols for retailers to adopt as they reopen stores and work to keep employees and customers safe.

"As conversations turn to the reopening of the economy, retailers are uniquely situated to provide input, because we've been on both sides of the stay-at-home orders," said Brian Dodge, RILA president. "Groceries, pharmacies and other retailers that have remained open have implemented practices and protocols that are keeping employees and communities safe. The blueprint released today builds off those successful operating practices. Our goal is for the safe reopen of retail, and we want everyone, policymakers, employees and our customers to know that the industry is ready to shop safe."

The guidelines were developed in accordance with CDC and benchmarking by leading retailers with a focus on ensuring the health and wellness of employees and customers. Retailers have been learning from each other throughout this crisis, sharing leading practices and protocols to keep stores clean and sanitized, and keeping customers and employees as safe as possible.

The plan from RILA and NRF details three phases for reopening retail:

  • Phase 1 – allow e-commerce, contactless curbside pickup and in-home delivery;
  • Phase 2 – re-open stores to the public, with social distancing protocols and reduced occupancy;
  • Phase 3 – establish protection, then lift all restrictions.

"Retailers' number one priority is customer safety, employee safety, and store and facility environment safety," said Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. "Since the onset of the pandemic, retailers have been following the guidance of CDC and other public health experts and are taking additional measures to keep their employees and customers safe."