Updates • 01.10.2021

COVID-19 in brick-and-mortar retail

Updates on developments concerning COVID pandemic

The Corona pandemic is an ongoing predicament with constant changes and challenges for all involved, people, societies and industries. Here we collect news on the pandemic situation for the retail industry.

Mental health struggles of low-paid workers during the pandemic


Retail trade union Usdaw is launching the results of a survey of low-paid key workers, which reveals the extent of mental health issues they faced throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

A survey of over 4,000 members found that:

  • Almost three-quarters feel anxious about going into work.
  • By far the biggest factor is a fear of contracting the virus.
  • Young workers’ main concern is customer abuse and harassment.

Paddy Lillis, Usdaw General Secretary says: “Our focus remains the same now as it was before the outbreak of Coronavirus; to identify how work affects our members’ mental health and ensure they get the right support. This report outlines the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of Usdaw members and gives a voice to their experience of working in critical sectors of the economy throughout the coronavirus crisis.”

Source and further information: USDAW

Find many news, articles and interviews concerning retail and the COVID-19 pandemic on iXtenso/coronavirus.

Jabs for jobs: Retailers making COVID vaccinations mandatory


For a small but growing sector of companies, vaccinations for its employees are obligatory, iterating a controversial “jabs for jobs” requirement.

At TJX Companies Inc., parent company of Marshalls and TJ Maxx, all U.S. home and regional employees must be fully vaccinated by November 1st. In a statement a spokesperson said: “We believe the current protocols that we have in place in our stores and distribution centers are working well at this time. With our offices reopening for the first time in more than 18 months, we felt this additional step was an important one to take.”

At Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, a planned re-opening of its corporate offices in September is making vaccinations mandatory for returning employees.

Sportswear giant Under Armour is giving its employees until end of the year to be vaccinated. The company is set to re-open its campus in January 2022, requiring all returning employees to be fully vaccinated. Its retail and distribution workers are not required to do so, but will be forced to wear masks at work.

Walmart is also mandating vaccines for its office workers. “We continue to watch with deep concern the developments of the pandemic and the spread of variants, especially the delta variant,” Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer said in a released memo to staff. “We know vaccinations are our solution to drive change.”

In the U.K. office workers are not obliged to be vaccinated and companies are able to set their own Covid-19 regulations. The U.K. Government has previously hinted that vaccination passports may be needed for shoppers to enter some shops later this year.

Source and further information: FashionUnited

Health measures continue to boost in-store grocery shopping


As the delta variant spreads and COVID-19 cases surge again, shoppers are feeling ambivalent about their return to in-store shopping, according to the research from the Food Industry Association (FMI) and the Hartman Group.

At 60%, an increasing number of U.S. adults think food shopping in-person is safe — up from 50% in February. But hesitancy remains, with shoppers reporting fewer in-store trips and time spent there per visit than pre-pandemic. 

Respondents said they are more concerned about getting sick from other shoppers (40%) than from touching shopping carts (30%), store employees (29%) or surface contamination (28%).

Source and further information: Grocery Dive

Summer 2021 economic forecast: reopening fuels recovery


The European economy is forecast to rebound faster than previously expected, as activity in the first quarter of the year exceeded expectations and the improved health situation prompted a swifter easing of pandemic control restrictions in the second quarter. 

According to the Summer 2021 interim Economic Forecast, the economy in the EU and the euro area is set to expand by 4.8% this year and 4.5% in 2022. Compared to the previous forecast in the spring, the growth rate for 2021 is significantly higher in the EU (+0.6 pps.) and the euro area (+0.5 pps.), while for 2022 it is slightly higher in both areas (+0.1 pp.). Real GDP is projected to return to its pre‑crisis level in the last quarter of 2021 in both the EU and the euro area.

Growth is expected to strengthen due to several factors. First, activity in the first quarter of the year exceeded expectations. Second, an effective virus containment strategy and progress with vaccinations led to falling numbers of new infections and hospitalisations, which in turn allowed EU Member States to reopen their economies in subsequent quarter. Upbeat survey results among consumers and businesses as well as data tracking mobility suggest that a strong rebound in private consumption is already underway.

Source and further information: European Commission

Too much too soon – Usdaw slams the U.S. government's weakening of safety measures in stores


Paddy Lillis,Usdaw General Secretary of Usdaw, says:

“This is too much too soon. The Government should not be weakening safety measures in shops at the same time as opening up other venues. There is no reason why requirements to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing in busy public areas like shops cannot continue.

Wearing a face covering in crowded public areas like shops is not merely a personal choice, it is an important measure to help protect workers who have no option but to interact with large numbers of people as a part of their job. The main purpose of face coverings is to protect others and the Government must send out a clear message on this.

Usdaw is urging the shopping public to continue to wear face coverings, along with necessary hand sanitisation and maintaining social distancing to help make shops safer and limit the spread of Covid-19. We also continue to call on employers to maintain appropriate safety measures and ensure that they are being followed consistently, in every store."

Source and further informationUsdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers)

BRC responds to Prime Minister’s announcement on Covid restrictions


Responding to the Prime Minister’s press conference on the easing of Covid restrictions, Tom Ironside, Director of Business and Regulation at the BRC, said:

"Retailers await the government's final decision on July 12 about the easing of restrictions the following week. It will take consumers and businesses time to adjust and it is vital that Government messaging is clear and consistent so that businesses and consumers easily understand what is expected of them both legally and individually."

Source and further information: British Retail Consortium (BRC)

U.S. Retailers want consistency on mask guidance


Lisa LaBruno, Senior Executive Vice President, Retail Operations and Innovation at RILA, said:

“Today’s CDC announcement on masks creates ambiguity for retailers because it fails to fully align with state and local orders. Retailers are reviewing the latest CDC guidance to determine if any changes should be made to their current safety protocols. While these reviews are ongoing, it is critical for customers to remember the CDC announcement is guidance and that many state and local jurisdictions still have mask mandates in place that retailers must follow. These conflicting positions put retailers and their employees in incredibly difficult situations. We urge state and local governments to coordinate with the CDC as additional guidance is issued on the road to normalcy. 

Retailers will continue to prioritize the safety of their team members first, as they’ve done throughout the pandemic. We urge all retail customers and guests to follow a store’s safety protocols including wearing a mask and social distancing. Frontline workers deserve this respect. Retailers encourage customers that do not want to wear a mask to shop online or via curbside pickup offerings.” 

Source and further information: Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA)

Compiled by: iXtenso editorial team

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: WRC 2022 – World Retail Congress
28.09.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

WRC 2022 – World Retail Congress

05.04. - 07.04.2022 | Rome Cavalieri Hotel, Italy

The World Retail Congress on 05.04.-07.04.2022 brings together the leaders of today’s global retail industry – from multi-national powerhouses to game-changing start-ups and disruptors. They are united in their focus on understanding and ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Future Stores 2022 – The Event for In-Store Retail Executives...
11.10.2021   #brick and mortar retail #retail

Future Stores 2022 – The Event for In-Store Retail Executives

31.01.2022 | Online

Retail. Reimagined.In an effort to give you a more robust virtual event experience, we have decided to postpone the Future Stores Virtual Event that was scheduled for October 19 until January 31, 2022.2021 has been a year of maintenance, adjusting ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Over 700 exhibitors confirmed for ISE 2022
12.11.2021   #digitization #event

Over 700 exhibitors confirmed for ISE 2022

ISE 2022 returns with a vibrant and inspiring edition, a redesigned show floor and new demonstration areas guaranteed to enable exhibitors to ‘Rise Up. Reimagine. Ignite the Future.

Exhibitors are signing up in significant numbers to take part in ISE 2022, the destination for world-class brands to showcase the latest technologies in pro AV. With over 700 exhibitors already committed, including bellwether brands Barco, Crestron, ...

Thumbnail-Photo: DICKS Sporting Goods and NIKE create connected partnership...
08.11.2021   #app #omnichannel

DICK'S Sporting Goods and NIKE create connected partnership

Omnichannel app and event marketing for an enhanced shopping experience

DICK'S Sporting Goods and NIKE, Inc. have forged a transformative, connected partnership designed to enhance the shopping experience for DICK'S and NIKE customers. This first-of-its-kind collaboration will allow DICK'S and NIKE to each ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Frankonia connects online and offline shopping experience...
13.10.2021   #omnichannel #electronic shelf labels (ESL)

Frankonia connects online and offline shopping experience

Cloud-based ESL solution

The German hunting retailer, Frankonia, has decided to roll out Breece System with electronic shelf labels (ESL) from Delfi Technologies in all its stores to connect the online and offline shopping experience. Founded in 1908, Frankonia in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: VM & Display Show 2022
12.10.2021   #brick and mortar retail #retail

VM & Display Show 2022

05.04.-06.04.2022 | London

World-changing thinkers and innovators all from April 5-6, 2022, under one roof. The VM and Display Show is the longest running exhibition for the industry.Whether you are a retailer, designer, in the leisure and entertainment industry or in ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Tackling today’s retail staffing challenges with AI-powered WFM...
19.11.2021   #personnel management #workforce deployment

Tackling today’s retail staffing challenges with AI-powered WFM

Workforce management solutions to resolve current labor shortage

Experts have attributed this difficulty finding front-line employees to a variety of factors, such as child-care responsibilities, a desire for increased wages and benefits, and concern about new COVID-19 variants.Many retailers are approaching ...

Thumbnail-Photo: How Discovery Commerce is changing online shopping...
04.10.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

How Discovery Commerce is changing online shopping

New ways of addressing and attracting customers

When shopping online, people no longer tend to buy only products they have specifically searched for. Increasingly, they are also tempted to make spontaneous purchases online. The principle is called discovery commerce. "Shopping by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Viscom 2022 - Europes Trade Fair for Visual Communication...
13.10.2021   #retail #event

Viscom 2022 - Europe's Trade Fair for Visual Communication

11.01. - 13.01.2022 | Düsseldorf

The viscom trade fair in Düsseldorf is the international trade fair for visual communication. More than 250 national and international exhibitors present their products and services for visual communication in advertising applications at the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: World Class Retail Store Transformation 2022...
13.10.2021   #retail #digitization

World Class Retail Store Transformation 2022

31.03. - 01.04.2022 | Frankfurt am Main

The leading conference for digital transformation best practices in Europe will take place on March 31 - April 01, 2022 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. World Class Retail Store Transformation 2022 is an official event of the World Class ...


POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Reflexis Systems GmbH
Kokkolastr. 5-7
40882 Ratingen
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Citizen Systems Europe GmbH
Otto-Hirsch-Brücken 17
70329 Stuttgart
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven