The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) today announced it is encouraging customers to “shop smart” as retailers look forward to reopening their doors. Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan allows previously shuttered retailers, such as department stores, jewelry stores and boutiques to reopen beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 8, 2020. The primary concern for all retailers continues to be the health and safety of their employees and their customers, and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers have made wide-ranging changes in their operations with that concern in mind.
“Many of North Carolina’s brick and mortar retailers have been hit hard by extended store closures,” said Andy Ellen, president and general counsel for NCRMA. “It’s our hope that consumers will be ready to support these businesses who have supported their communities through sponsorships of little league teams, booster clubs, civic organizations and also stepping in with product donations in times of need.”
To keep employees and customers safe as businesses reopen, retailers will continue to implement safety measures. NCRMA urges consumers to help retailers and their fellow shoppers by shopping smart and specifically remembering the “Three Ws”: Wear a cloth face covering, Wait six feet apart to avoid close contact and Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer. Additionally, NCRMA encourages consumers to thank retail employees working to keep shelves stocked and stores clean for the benefit and safety of their customers.
“North Carolina retailers aren’t just the backbone of local economies – they’re the first ones to step up in times of need,” said Ellen. “The ability of these retailers to rebound from this pandemic will benefit everyone, so we encourage residents to shop NC and shop smart as we support these vital businesses.”