NRF And RILA Call For Simultaneous Reopening Of DCs To Support Supply Chains

The National Retail Federation (NRF) and Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have created the Blueprint for Shopping Safe, a memo that lays out a three-phase plan for reopening the country. The blueprints are being sent to the governor of each state to offer them guidance on restoring operations in a safe, efficient manner:

  • Phase 1: Allow E-Commerce, Contactless Curbside Pickup and In-Home Delivery;
  • Phase 2: Reopen Stores to the Public, with Social Distancing Protocols and Reduced Occupancy; and
  • Phase 3: Establish Protection, Then Lift All Restrictions.

The guide initially calls for a simultaneous reopening of warehouses across the country to create “a fully functioning supply chain with all distribution centers operational,” rather than a state-by-state patchwork. Adopting this strategy would let retailers in heavily affected states continue to make deliveries from local warehouses without risking re-exposure for stores and facilities in safer states.

Both the first and second phases call for the implementation of “robust” health and safety procedures for sanitation, handwashing and in-store social distancing at both stores and warehouses. The second phase also lays out practices for the initial store reopening process, including limiting occupancy to no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet of shopping space, demarcating six-foot spaces at checkout and continuing to arrange for contactless pickup and delivery “wherever practical.”

The third and final phase would eliminate those shopping restrictions but keep in place some of the new cleanliness standards, such as increased handwashing and disinfecting. The proposal is based on existing state regulations, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and safety measures created by essential retailers.


“Retailer’s number one priority is customer safety, employee safety, and store and facility environment safety,” said Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the NRF in a statement. “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.”

Featured Event

Join the retail community as we come together for three days of strategic sessions, meaningful off-site networking events and interactive learning experiences.



Access The Media Kit


Access Our Editorial Calendar

If you are downloading this on behalf of a client, please provide the company name and website information below: