With the continuing spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”), retailers are sure to face a number of issues that they can and should prepare for. The primary issues facing retailers will likely be supply chain issues, covered here (The Impact of Coronavirus on Supply Chain), and employment issues, covered here (What Employers Need to Know to Prepare for Coronavirus). This post addresses issues concerning in-store customer interactions.

Retail establishments, by their nature, bring people from all walks of life together in one, confined space. As a result, they should take steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus to employees and customers in their stores. That includes following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”), which is available here (Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019). That guidance encourages companies to have sick employees stay home; place posters reminding customers and employees to wash their hands and adopt best hygiene practices; provide disposable wipes and no-touch disposal receptacles for customers and employees; complete routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, and more. In addition, retailers may consider educating store employees on how to address situations that might arise, including dealing with customers presenting with potential coronavirus symptoms.

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This is just one consideration for retailers facing coronavirus. There are others, which are addressed here and here. Retailers are encouraged to work with legal counsel when navigating these complex issues.