C.    Malls: An enclosed mall may reopen or remain open, but only to the extent that it complies with the following requirements:
(1)    Capacity limited: The mall must limit the number of customers present to 50% of its maximum legal occupancy capacity.
(2)    Common seating areas: All common seating areas, such as food courts, shall remain closed. Restaurants in food courts may operate on a carry-out basis.
(3)    Play areas: Any play area or playground must remain closed.
(4)    Social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The mall shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each mall to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene
practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

D.    Other retail establishments: A retail establishment that was previously ordered to be closed statewide and then only in certain counties under section 5, paragraph I, of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued on April 27, 2020, may reopen or remain open, but only to the extent that it limits the number of customers present to 50% of its maximum legal occupancy capacity and implements reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance
issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

source: Governor Reynolds Proclamation May 26, 2020

Current Impact

Retail establishments have been a major contributor to DSM's continued success. Iowa retailers operate 43,000 individual establishments, employ 450K people, and generate $23.6B in economic impact (NFR Iowa). In congruence with other U.S. states, many Iowa retailers closed their doors on March 26 and remained closed until May 2020. Overall, more than 250,000 stores that sell nonessential merchandise have been shut down since mid-March, representing 60% of U.S. retail square footage.

  • 8.7% Decline in Sales
  • 60% of Retail Space Unused
  • 6,000+ Iowans Unemployed

Future Trends

Digital Distribution & Experience

  • Retailers will need to distribute products digitally and deliver strong virtual experiences.

Robust Delivery & Pickup Offerings

  • Customers will expect safe and effective delivery options for physical products through common distribution centers.

Contactless Payment and Self-service

  • Contactless and self-serve point of sale equipment will be essential to ensure the safety of employees and customers.

Changing Workforce Needs

  • Workforce needs will evolve as customers leverage technology and expect a greater omnichannel experience.

Strategic Partnership Opportunities

  • Partnerships will emerge among retailers and like-minded organizations to unlock supply chain synergies, increase customer reach and improve the customer experience.

Recommended Practices

Health & Sanitation

  • Require employees to comply with guidelines on sanitation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Prepare to screen employees for fever prior to the work shift.
  • Conduct a health screening with all employees before their shifts in accordance with the most up to date recommendations from your local public health department.
  • Do not allow employees who have a fever or are otherwise exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms to enter the premises.
  • Encourage employees to wear face masks and employ any other PPE in accordance with the most up to date recommendations from your local public health department.
  • Employers should create a plan to provide access to hand sanitizer or a place to wash their hands.
  • Regularly sanitize common surfaces such as point of sale (POS) equipment, entrance/exit doors and checkout lanes along with stock/merchandise.
  • Encourage customers to use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting, and provide this resource when possible.
  • Encourage customers to continue reasonable social distancing and wear protective equipment, especially if they are at higher risk.

Process & Space Modification

  • Stores with higher traffic should consider metering guests and marking spaces 6 feet apart at the sales registers and outside the entrance.
  • Consider modifying hours to ensure ample time to clean facilities and provide shopping hours for vulnerable guests.
  • Sales registers must be at least 6 feet apart.
  • Consider rotating the use of equipment to allow for periodic deep cleaning.
  • Protective screens may be installed at the discretion of each store.
  • Encourage customers to make non-cash payments. Receipts should be left on the counter or placed directly in the bag.
  • Provide an adequate number of trash receptacles.
  • Encourage use of a drive-through window or curbside pick-up if available.
  • Provide ways for customers to make digital purchases
  • Consider suspending returns and exchanges and extend consumers' ability to do so over a longer period of time.
  • Delivery personnel should refrain from entering facilities and adhere to Iowa Department of Health guidelines upon interaction with employees.
  • While safety is everyone's responsibility, designate an employee to monitor all safety procedures.
  • Post signage at the door indicating no one should enter the establishment if they currently have symptoms or have been around anyone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 14 days.
  • Encourage customers to make appointments for services and shopping experiences to ensure fewer customers are in the location at the same time. This will put customers more at ease and allow employees to clean in between customers.
  • Consider implementing one-way aisles if a large enough store footprint exists.
  • Iowa Department of Public Safety guidelines state a retail establishment can estimate capacity by dividing the establishment's square footage by an occupant load factor of 100.


  • Employers are required to post a sign on the storefront that individuals who have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 should not enter the store.
  • Inform employees verbally and in writing of the safety standards and discuss them at employee meetings.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns immediately.
  • Post updates regularly to employees and customers via websites, newsletters and social media as changes occur.

Additional Resources