Retailers open doors, invest in staff

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Week by week, retailers continue to adjust around the coronavirus pandemic. In some parts of the country, retailers have been expanding hours and some “non-critical” stores are beginning to open doors under social distancing guidelines.

Joining regional grocers H-E-B and Stater Bros., Costco announced that the majority of its stores will resume its regular operating hours, but the retailer is also requiring all shoppers over 2 years old to wear a face covering.

A regional fashion retailer Belk has announced it will slowly be opening its stores with social distancing rules, but even bigger is that Macy’s has issued a plan to reopen stores in the coming weeks, with an eye on having all open in six to eight weeks. 

Macy’s will take what many essential retailers have been doing and deploy the same guidelines to ensure safe shopping. The retailer earlier in the year said it will be making private brands a priority to its growth strategy in 2020, so it will be interesting to see how that has evolves, post-pandemic.

Yet, the somewhat positive turn in pandemic measures doesn’t mean retailers are taking a break either. Dollar General has stepped up with an additional $25 million investment in bonuses for  retail, distribution and fleet teams, bringing a total employee appreciation investment to $60 million.

Amazon is expecting to donate $4 billion of its second quarter profits toward mask, protective equipment and more that helps fight the spread of the coronavirus for its employees and shoppers. Whole Foods stores, for example, will begin offering disposable masks.

Kroger is continuing to help farmers, announcing it will donate more than 200,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America, taking milk that would have been wasted and getting it to food banks and those in need.

For a list of other measures retailers have been putting in place, see the retailer roundup for more.