North American retailers deal with temporary closure of stores

Temporary closure phase-down tips available

Friday, March 20, 2020

Retailers can look to Connex for guidance on maintaining and securing stores faced with COVID-19 related temporary closure. The North American facilities management association for retailers with multiple locations is marshalling resources, including a series of online seminars next week, to assist with a spate of store shutdowns, estimated in the thousands throughout Canada and the United States since the beginning of this month.

The broadcasts are scheduled for Monday to Wednesday, March 23-25, and will focus on: phasing down operations and building systems in idle stores; security; and cleaning. A checklist of key steps for a smooth store shutdown — highlighting security, building systems management, exterior maintenance and ongoing site monitoring — is also available with other resource materials and member networking platforms on the Connex website.

“We have the specialized resources and connections with suppliers multi-site facilities managers need to manage dark stores and other closed properties,” affirms the association’s chief executive officer, Bill Yanek.

Thus far, Connex reports more than 110 major retailers have temporarily closed some or many stores in the U.S.and/ or Canada. That’s a stark departure from the norm. In 2018, for example, a Connex member survey revealed that, on average, retailers opened 18 new stores, closed 17 and relocated five.

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