On March 28th, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly issued a statewide Stay Home order for the state of Kansas from March 30th through April 19th. The order, following orders for Sedgwick County and the Kansas City metro area, directs residents to stay home unless they are performing essential activities or working for essential businesses. The Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR), part of the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, has identified the essential and non-essential industries in the state of Kansas. Using Kansas Department of Revenue data on taxable retail sales by industry sector, CEDBR estimates that 73.3 percent of Kansas retail sales were in essential industries in 2019, while the remaining 26.7 percent of sales occurred in non-essential industries.
Essential industries had more than $32 billion in retail sales in 2019 in Kansas. The largest of these industries were the general merchandise stores sector and the food services and drinking places, which accounted collectively for more than $10 billion in sales. This was more than 25 percent of all taxable retail sales in the state. Eight other essential industries had more than $1 billion in taxable retail sales in 2019. Non-essential industries comprised only $11.6 billion in 2019 retail sales, and the largest single non-essential industry sector was motor vehicle dealers, with more than $5.8 billion in sales. The clothing store sector and the furniture and home furnishings store sector were the only other non-essential sectors to have more than $1 billion in sales.