Store Shutdowns due to Coronavirus Spark Debate on "Essential Industries" to Stay Open | Financial Buzz

Store Shutdowns due to Coronavirus Spark Debate on “Essential Industries” to Stay Open

Previously the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared closure of non-essential retailers on Monday to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  Shortly after, the parent company of Sports Direct announced to staff that the next day would still be open for business. 

The parent compared had argued that sports and fitness equipment is vital during a national shutdown as the government shut down its plan to remain open.  This raises the question on deciding whether or not specific businesses in target industries are “essential” as governments attempt to contain the virus and keep infections at a minimum.  Donald Trump declared on Monday that “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”  Poking at the fact that the shutdown will cause a massive drop in the economy. 

Work and employment has dropped significantly on an international scale as millions heed the recommendation to stay home and avoid social interaction due to the virus. 

Trump has planned to reopen the U.S. economy after the shutdown but is still developing a plan to limit the drop in the economy. 

Amazon announced the halt of shipments on non-essential products to Italy and France as the strict lockdowns have been active.  An employee at a French distribution centers announced that they were dispatching non-essential items to small workplaces.  “These are DVDs, video games, iPads, phones and sex toys,” said the worker, who declined to give her name for fear of losing her job.

“Cash flow and survival are the key words here,” said Gary Hufbauer at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “As the shutdown continues, more and more firms will seek to be designated essential.”