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Retail Operations during the Coronavirus

Empty mall in belgium

The rise of ‘Covid-19’, also known as the Coronavirus, has caused panic and uncertainty to retail businesses across the country. It is important to understand what you can do to combat this pandemic before it takes a hold of your business. Consider ways to maximize productivity, reassure customers, and continue to find and build relationships with tenants. We've created a list of a few things to consider doing if you are trying to stay open to the public:

Emphasize that you are still there, and are still going to work.

If you plan on staying open, let your customers know this in advance! Spread the word on social media, and place this information on your website. Make the extra effort to ensure in-demand products are stocked; when there’s less floor traffic, conversions are even more crucial.


Have hand sanitizing units easily accessible in your store.

Having these hand sanitizing stations available to customers and employees is a simple gesture that can help fight the spread of Covid-19. Show that you appreciate customers supporting your business during this time by promoting a healthy environment.


Take the time to motivate and calm your staff:

Re-assure your staff that everything will be ok, and that these are events that are beyond our control. Reducing panic and maintaining moral will reassure customers in the same manor.


Improve digital your space:

Take advantage of online opportunities your business can utilize. Update your social media pages; be sure to promote your loyalty programs online. Consider creating, or improving the Q&A portion on your website. Update store hours on Yelp and Google My Business.


Adopt a work-from-home policy to allow productivity during this outbreak.

Workers can be available to answer product questions, issue returns, and answer billing questions. Training can also be done online; this can be a great time to upgrade your staff, and have them busy when in-store work is not available.


Above all it is important for everyone to be safe during this time of year.

The WHO (World Health Organization) cautions everyone to keep hands clean, and to avoid hand-to-face contact. Transmission of the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, specifically close contact of within six feet. Avoid close contact with those who are unwell. Stay safe during this time, do what you can to help your business and your community!



The ICSC has cancelled all future events until June.

If you are a leasing executive or broker, this slow down also makes it difficult to conduct business. Without ICSC events, there is an unexpected halt on deal making opportunities that many leasing agents and brokers have been banking on to meet potential tenants. Fortunately we provided a list of things you can do to find tenants, and improve upon your business during these crises:

  • Contact current tenants and see who they know. Use this opportunity to build on relationships that you already have.   
  • Check out properties of the type of stores you would consider, get to know the retail shopping owners and managers.
  • Take time to check out what is trending in the community. See what stores have a high customer interest and high return rate.

As far as missing out on the education/training during ICSC, you can find a lot of that information online:


Whether you are a retailer, or leasing professional, there is no doubt that the Coronavirus is making it more difficult to conduct business. By taking the right precautions and utilizing digital tools, there are ways to continue to work during this slow down. Are you a retailer or agent continuing to stay open and work? Let us know what types of actions you've taken by emailing us at

Written by Matthew Lane