Updates • 03.09.2021

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.

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

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

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

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: Development of Hainan global smart supply chain pilot zone...
21.06.2021   #retail #logistic solutions

Development of Hainan global smart supply chain pilot zone

Cainiao will be supporting Hainan’s logistics infrastructure development to attract over 1,000 duty-free merchants to the island

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (“Cainiao”), the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, announced at its annual Global Smart Logistics Summit 2021 that it has entered a strategic partnership with the Hainan government to support ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Benefits of investing in physical stores
28.06.2021   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

Benefits of investing in physical stores

The role of physical stores for selling "deep" products

Researchers from Colorado State University, Amazon, and Dartmouth College published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines the role of physical stores for selling "deep" products.The study, forthcoming in the Journal of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Reusable pop-up store
07.07.2021   #brick and mortar retail #sustainability

Reusable pop-up store

PANGAIA showcases high-tech naturalism at The Selfridges Corner Shop

In spring of this year PANGAIA offered its customers an extraordinary shopping experience. For the first time, customers were able to visit the PANGAIA pop-up store in The Selfridges Corner Shop, which was designed to literally guide them through ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Exploring fashion in a different way
17.06.2021   #sustainability #fashion

Exploring fashion in a different way

Museum Pass holders can visit the Fashion for Good Museum in Amsterdam for free

Museum Pass holders can visit the Fashion for Good Museum for free – good news now that all museums can physically open their doors again! After the registration with the Museum Register at the end of last year, the registration with the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital signage creates more time for customers at 3...
20.06.2021   #customer satisfaction #digital signage

Digital signage creates more time for customers at 3

Telecommunication company 3 relies on electronic price tags

The staff members in the telecommunications company 3's stores do not have to worry about updating product information or prices, as all the stores have installed electronic price tags from the IT company Delfi Technologies. The stores can ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Attracting passers-by, not influencers
27.05.2021   #digital signage #POS marketing

Attracting passers-by, not influencers

How to attract customers with content marketing and digital signage at the point of sale

You think modern content marketing on digital screens at the point of sale (POS) is reserved for big brands and not for small retailers? Not at all, says Nils Drosin, Co-Founder and CEO of 4Dmagic. He is convinced that if retailers use their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: It takes two: closing the sustainability-attitude behavior gap in fashion...
18.05.2021   #online trading #sustainability

It takes two: closing the sustainability-attitude behavior gap in fashion

Zalando wants customers to keep sustainabilty in mind

Recently, Zalando published a report sharing consumer insights and recommendations on how to close the sustainability attitude-behavior gap in fashion. Therefore, Zalando launched a value-based browsing experience and further invested in Pre-owned ...

Thumbnail-Photo: More than just a technical gimmick: augmented reality in retail...
05.05.2021   #e-commerce #brick and mortar retail

More than just a technical gimmick: augmented reality in retail

How to bring your retail space to your customer's home

When the shop doors have to remain closed due to pandemic regulations and customers switch to online offerings, the digital shopping experience from smart devices should be made as eventful as possible. This is where the use of artificial ...

Thumbnail-Photo: QR-based aRC quick scan tool for display recycling...
15.06.2021   #brick and mortar retail #sustainability

QR-based aRC quick scan tool for display recycling

arken wants to help retailers improve the recycling of displays at their end of life in-store

Retail display specialist arken P-O-P International announced the launch of aRC – the arken Recycling QR Code to create an easy and accessible way for help retailers improve recycling of permanent and semi-permanent displays at their end of ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Retail as powerful stream of revenue
22.07.2021   #online trading #e-commerce

Retail as powerful stream of revenue

Influential media organizations to partner with retailers

The COVID-19 pandemic has created synergistic opportunities for media and retail companies, as consumers find themselves spending more time online. Large online media and entertainment organizations are now partnering with retailers to provide ...


Navori Labs
Navori Labs
Rue du lion d'or 4
1003 Lausanne
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen