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NC Retailers and Coronavirus

Retailers Work to Meet the Needs of Employees and Customers

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) issued the following statement from Andy Ellen, president and general counsel, regarding North Carolina retailers and the impact of coronavirus.

“The main concern for all retailers is the health and safety of their employees and their customers.

In light of the concern surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, retailers are working tirelessly to serve their customers while also protecting their employees. It is a delicate balance many types of businesses are facing. Retailers are identifying essential business functions, cross-training employees and most importantly communicating with their employees and customers to avoid as much interruption as possible in serving their customers.

Retailers are focusing on providing the essentials to their customers including food and prescription drugs. Products like hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, masks and cleaning supplies have become scarce around the state and consumers should not expect quick re-stocking. The coronavirus has created a shortage nationwide meaning suppliers aren’t able to divert needed stock to a small affected area because the whole country is affected.

Consumer spending drives the economy. When consumers decrease their spending significantly it has a direct impact on the economy, and huge impact on retail. The coronavirus has created such a situation as there has been a noticeable decrease in foot traffic and consumer spending at brick and mortar retail stores.

Also, many colleges are transitioning to online classes and sending students home. The direct effect of shifting that consumer group away from college town businesses will be a huge hit to retailers and restaurants that depend on student spending.

Hopefully most retailers will survive this latest hurdle, but they won’t be unscathed. When things get back to normal it will be up to consumers to get out and support the retailers that have sponsored the little league teams, given to the booster clubs and generally supported their communities.”

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About the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association

The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) is a nonprofit trade association organized in 1902 to improve the business climate for retailers in North Carolina. Over 100 years later, NCRMA remains the voice of the retail industry for North Carolina. NCRMA represents the interests of individual merchants before the General Assembly and serves as a vital link to state government. Its credibility lies in its longevity and commitment to serving the ever-changing needs of its members. The Association’s membership includes more than 25,000 stores from across the state whose business represents 75 percent of North Carolina’s retail sales volume.  NCRMA serves both large and small retailers from multi-state chains to local “mom and pops” and all types of merchants including antique, apparel, art, automotive, book, carpet, department, drug, electronics, floral, furniture, grocery, hardware, jewelry, paint and variety stores. For more information, visit


NCRMA President
Andy Ellen

Senior Communications Director
Ann Edmondson

Amanda Wujcik
Author: Amanda Wujcik

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