The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), one of the largest state retail organizations in the United States and the voice of retailing and the business community in state government, has released the following information for consumers:
IRMA has urged consumers to practice normal shopping routines and avoid stockpiling amid the COVID-19 outbreak. There is plenty of food if everyone practices common sense and returns to normal shopping patterns. As an example, if you shop on Thursday for the following week, then shop on Thursday and get what you need for the following week—not for the next three weeks. There is ZERO need for hoarding. Hoarding is creating a problem that doesn’t need to exist.
IRMA has worked closely with state officials to ensure regulatory obstacles to restocking shelves are removed so consumers can access items they may need during this public health crisis. Two of the three obstacles have been accomplished and the third, weight limits on trucks, will be increased in the next day or so. The three obstacles were: suspending limits on hours truck drivers can work; increasing weight limits on trucks, and removing municipal restrictions on hours of delivery. The combination will enable suppliers to move more product to stores.
Additionally, stores that are typically open 24-hours are now beginning to alter their hours to open at 6 or 7 in the morning and close at 10 or 11 at night. This gives a greater ability to restock and clean. In short, there is nothing wrong with the supply chain. The retail industry is working around the clock to ensure its customers throughout Illinois will have the products it needs for you, your families and businesses.
STORES & RESTAURANTS
Additionally, as we attempt to control the outbreak of COVD-19 and more people work from home, it is important to provide options that alleviate the pressure placed on grocery, pharmacy, convenience, restaurant and retail stores. According to IRMA, at the very least, the following entities must remain open:
- Grocery stores;
- Convenience store and gas stations with grocery items;
- Stores with cleaning and sanitation supplies;
- Stores with pet supplies;
- Stores with electronic items
IRMA has been working with the Governor’s office to ensure consumers have as many options as possible via restaurants while still limiting large gatherings. Restaurants will NOT be able to allow sit-down dining, however, consumers will be able to obtain food from restaurants via drive-thru, curb-side, delivery or take-out/carry-out. 5