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As Black Friday approaches, retailers lobby states to stay open

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Signage outside the Macy's Inc. flagship store in the Herald Square area of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Macy's Inc. is scheduled to release earnings on November 19. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Retailers forced to close down stores to customers early in the pandemic are now pushing officials to allow them to stay open on Black Friday and into the holiday shopping season, even as coronavirus cases surge across the country.

New York (CNN Business)Retailers forced to close down stores to customers early in the pandemic are now pushing officials to allow them to stay open on Black Friday and into the holiday shopping season, even as coronavirus cases surge across the country.

On a call with analysts Thursday, Macy's CEO Jeffrey Gennette said the retailer was working with local and state leaders to ensure coronavirus safety measures were in place and urged officials to remove the distinction between essential and non-essential retailers.

Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at the Kent State University College of Public Health, said in an email that it would make sense to close stores previously labeled as non-essential to stop the spread of the virus "in an ideal world. " But she said closures would be too damaging to the economy and workers at this point, unless there was more federal funding to compensate laid-off workers.

A spokesperson for Gap (GPS) said in an email that the chain has implemented coronavirus safety measures for workers and customers and supports "any government actions to focus on science and safe retailing protocols, rather than arbitrary and outdated designations of 'essential' and 'non-essential' based upon what a retailer sells. '"

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