retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that "Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an order Tuesday evening requiring all residents to wear a face covering when visiting essential businesses in hopes that it will protect workers and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

"Effective Friday at midnight, residents must wear a mask, bandanna or other type of covering over their noses and mouths when in grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, taxis, ride-hail vehicles and any other essential businesses."

The order reads:  “All essential, non-medical workers required to wear these face coverings must frequently (at least once a day) wash any reusable face coverings, for the health and safety of themselves and others.  Single-use face coverings must be properly discarded into trash receptacles."

There are other communities in California that have discussed similar measures, but to this point, California Governor Gavin Newsom has not goner that far.

“We put out guidelines that if individuals want to have face coverings, that is a good thing and a preferable thing, in addition to the physical distancing and the stay-at-home order,” Newsom tells the Times. “We have been very clear that if you are going into an environment where physical distancing is all but impossible, for example, into a grocery store with small aisles and a long queue, that we do believe it would be additive and beneficial to have a face covering.”

Politico adds:  "Garcetti said he’d been in discussion with Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer about the order in recent days, but waited to issue the directive until he was confident the city had the supply of face coverings to meet the demand.

KC's View:

I don't think Garcetti reads MNB … where yesterday, you may recall, I called for retailers to establish the same requirement.

Wow.  In the words of Albert Brooks in Broadcast News, I say it here, and it comes out there.

But seriously … 

I got a lot of emails about my commentary yesterday, many of them supportive and a number pointing out the obvious problem - that it is hard to find masks.  I get it.   Sometimes we have to use scarves, or ripped t-shirts, or whatever.   These aren't the best solutions … but better than nothing, and they reinforce to everyone - everyone - that the world has changed, and that we have responsibility for more than just ourselves.  We have a responsibility to our community, and that means our neighbors in the broadest meaning of that term.

There is no room for narcissism in the world in which we live today.  People are getting sick.  Some are dying.

In our Innovation Conversation today, Tom Furphy points out that one of Jeff Bezos' strengths is his ability to look three and four quarters out.   I think we all have to do the same, and not just in business.