ALEXANDRIA, Va.—On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Broader Retail Implications from Coronavirus,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, and Carolyn Schnare, director of strategic initiatives, talk with Kevin Coupe, Content Guy at MorningNewsBeat.com, about the effect COVID-19 is having on retail.
“The events of the last few weeks and the way that food retailer, supermarkets, convenience stores, even restaurants have responded to the situation makes me feel really good about the human condition and the ability of the industry to step up when they’ve really been needed,” Coupe said. “Retailers have realized how essential they are even beyond the fact that they have been decreed by government to be essential.”
Retailers have stepped up in a number of different ways, some of which will have long-term impact and some which will not. “Opening an hour early so senior citizens and people who are high risk can shop without the crowds,” Coupe said. “Offering free coffee or free food to people who are working in the medical field, those kinds of things make you feel really good about the industry and the essentialness of what they do.”
In addition, at some level, grocery and convenience store workers have always been essential. “Now government, society and employers have deemed these employees to be essential and to be important to the brand, … so they’re getting temporary raises and bonuses,” Coupe said. “My question is: Have you not been recognizing them and rewarding them to the degree you should have before now?”
Coupe reminded listeners that “these are frontline employees. … They are the ones interacting with customers and set the tone in the store. … I hope that the retail industry as a whole recognizes this.”
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. With more than 200 episodes to choose from, the podcast can be heard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and other podcast apps and YouTube and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded more than 130,000 times by listeners around the world.
NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.