Last updated: As doors close, the best of humanity opens: Retail responds to COVID-19

As doors close, the best of humanity opens: Retail responds to COVID-19


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The CDC is officially urging gatherings of no more than ten people while states are stepping up to respond more decisively regarding the pandemic in an attempt to curb the coronavirus, and flatten the curve.

This means access to public places and places of business have been severely restricted as officials are shuttering gatherings, restaurants and clubs, salons, medical offices, etc. – you all know the news, that’s why you’re here reading this.

Retailers, too, are also closing their doors, directing people to online sites where applicable. They’re also using the extra time not serving customers to help serve the wider community.

It’s in moments like this that the best of humanity and business emerge.

Helping out: Retail responds to COVID-19

The following retailers have all announced physical store closures, and have promised to continue paying hourly employees to help ease anxiety and pay bills.

  • Glossier:
  • Patagonia:
  • Neighborhood Goods:

  • Urban Outfitters:
  • Apple:
  • Nike:
  • Lush Cosmetics:
  • REI:
  • Warby Parker:
  • AllBirds:

Lives over luxury: LVMH making sanitizer instead of makeup, perfume

These closures aren’t to say, however, that brands aren’t pulling their weight in building community even at a distance.

Some brands, like LVMH for instance, are addressing the humanitarian and community needs in a big way to help out, as LVMH announced they are now making hand sanitizer for French hospitals at no charge. Instead of producing perfume and makeup, the parent company of brands Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Christian Dior, are rather using the factories to meet societal necessities in a manner not seen since war-time.

“I wish to thank LVMH for acting so quickly: they made us this offer on Saturday night at 9pm (2000 GMT), and confirmed it on Sunday,” Paris hospitals chief Martine Hirsch told AFP.

Meanwhile, other retailer organizations are stepping up to help food employees out as the pandemic underscores the tremendous lack of societal safety nets around the world:

Other retailers are starting to focus on how best to help the well-being and mental health of society as people begin facing extended time indoors. For example, Outdoor Voices is releasing endorphin-boosting exercises on their The Recreationalist blog and social media channels to help followers stay active, even indoors.

It turns out that as this pandemic – and uncertainty – continues to grow, so too does our resilience and spirit of humanity.

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