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U.S. election chaos: retailers fear vandalism and board up store windows

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

Nov 4, 2020

Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and even Target have boarded up stores as extra security measures during the current election chaos in the US.

Retailers have long suffered in times of political unrest, most notably this summer during protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“While we intend to remain open where possible, out of an abundance of caution the windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election related activity,” Nathan Strauss, a spokesperson for Tiffany, told CNN.

Tom Buiocchi, CEO of ServiceChannel, an online platform that connects retailers with local contractors, said told CNN 750 stores had requested a service to board up their windows, with the majority in California, New York and Illinois. The cost to board up a boutique ranges from 124 dollars to 31,000 dollars.

Retailers fear vandalism

For retailers, election-related vandalism would be the latest disruption to their businesses during the pandemic. While large chains may be able to easily handle the added costs of boarding up, small retailers may face a tougher time.

In Los Angeles, Beverly Hills luxury retail mecca Rodeo Drive will be closed to cars and pedestrian traffic until after the election day, a move the city’s police chief calls a “proactive approach” to possible protests said the Los Angeles Times. Manhattan retailers like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are also taking precautions, with stores in the key shopping districts boarded up, “reflecting an anxiety among retailers across the nation,” said the New York Times.

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