A Note Of Appreciation For The Thoughtful Retailers Closing Their Doors Right Now

As the world dives deeper into a collective state of uncertainty, you may feel like you're drowning in the constant stream of bad news and alarming information flooding our feeds and networks. We're right there with you. While we usually look to one another for support during times of unease, seeking out the shoulder of a loved one to cushion our heavy heads, that kind of comfort is no longer an option in the unchartered waters of social distancing. So as we retreat indoors with the intention of staying put for the foreseeable future, our digital communities have become more important than ever before. And while we weren't expecting it, some of our favourite fashion and beauty retailers are giving us new reason to appreciate their online presence and it has nothing to do with product.

Since no one is immune to the coronavirus and the havoc it now wreaks on our daily lives, we've been presented with an opportunity to pull back the curtain on the establishments we frequent to see what they're really all about. For the many companies that pride themselves on an ethos of thoughtfulness and empowerment — now's the time to show instead of tell. And with companies like LVMH using its perfume factories to produce hand sanitizer and Prada donating six intensive care units to hospitals in Milan, the true colours of certain retailers are shining bright in this moment of darkness.
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Beloved brands like Glossier are putting the safety of their staff and customers first by closing their doors despite short-term business goals. Founder Emily Weiss even published a blog post on her company's website to go into further detail about this decision, assuring readers that staff will be paid regardless as the team is "prepared to put public health ahead of our bottom line." Retailers such as Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are doing the same. In a letter to its community, Aritzia even announced that all of its profits during this time will go to the Aritzia Community™ Relief Fund to support its people and their families, and even more companies are donating profits to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Many of these retailers already had our wallets, but they've now got our hearts too as they seek to engage their audiences more authentically. Weiss, for example, took to Instagram to reflect on how Glossier can continue bringing joy to its community while respecting calls for social distancing and public safety. Reformation passed the mic to its followers to better understand what kind of content a retailer should be producing right now, writing: "What's resonating with you? Do you still want to hear about new collection launches and sustainability stuff? Or do you need a break? Please let us know." But first, the brand announced the closure of its stores with paid time off for its retail teams.
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This is a complicated time for retail, so we wanted to acknowledge the companies doing their best to establish a new normal without compromising their commitments to both customers and employees. And we don't just want to thank these retailers for taking such considered action, we'd like to take a page out of their Insta-books and turn to our own audience for guidance — it's a complicated time for us as publishers too, after all. So tell us what you want to see more (and less!) of over the coming weeks so we can create the content you're craving right now. But first, check out the messages from retailers we believe are doing the right thing and, if you can, support them by shopping online.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the Public Health Agency of Canada website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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A few words on Ref and COVID-19.

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