Macy’s has not yet fully recovered: Sales in stores that have been open for at least a year have fallen 21 percent in the 13 weeks ending Oct. 30 compared to the same period last year, Macy’s said Thursday. Rivals between major retailers and Amazon have grown in recent months.
The holidays are the most important part of the year for retailers, and stores want to increase sales during what has been a challenge for the industry, so industry lobbyists and retailers are pushing to remove the “substantial” “non-essential” nomenclature before any future pandemic-related exclusions.
At the urging of analysts on Thursday, Macy CEO Jeffrey Genet said the retailer was working with local and state leaders to ensure that coronavirus safety measures were in place, and called on officials to close the gap between major and minor traders. retail.
“We don’t believe that labeling basic and non-essential things should play a role in retail. We believe you either have a safe environment or you don’t,” he said. “You have to be responsible for health and safety standards.”
Gennette’s announcement reflects the strategy that retail industry leaders have taken with selected employees in recent weeks. Trade groups say it is unfair to require some stores to close while allowing others to remain open based on what they sell. And this is a reflection of how forced closures have negatively affected parts of the industry, such as clothing stores and shopping malls, while raising others such as groceries and home improvements.
Some public health experts are confused about whether clothing stores and others should close as the pandemic worsens in the United States. The seven-day average of new cases across the country is the highest ever: 161,165 cases per day, up 27% from last week.
Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at Kent State University, said in an email that it would make sense to close stores that were previously labeled insignificant to stop the virus from spreading “in an ideal world.” But she said the closure would be too damaging to the economy and workers at the moment, unless there is more federal funding to compensate the laid-off workers.
The federal government provided an additional $ 600 a week in unemployment benefits to people who lost their jobs in the pandemic, but those benefits expired over the summer. Congress has not renewed them.
Wael Al-Delaimy, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Diego, said traders in non-essential goods should stop because the pandemic is worse than in the spring.
David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, said in an interview Thursday that retailers who establish safety protocols such as masks, social distancing and other measures must remain open.
He added that “it is important for the health of communities that governors do not stop the economy again.”
So far, most local and state leaders have not demanded that retailers they once defined as insignificant shut down, retail leaders say. Instead, the new constraints focus on capacity constraints in stores.
However, New Mexico has become a hotbed of new rules around which businesses can remain open.
Governor Michel Luzhan Grisham and state health officials announced on Wednesday that the state requires major retailers to limit capacity to no more than 75 customers inside, or 25% of maximum occupancy by November 30th.
These major retailers include grocery stores, supermarkets, farmers’ markets, shops and other businesses that generate more than a third of their revenue from grocery, car and motorcycle repair shops, hardware stores, laundries and more. Retailers who do not meet these requirements are not allowed to have customers inside.
“Scotty Andrew of CNN contributed to this article.