Oct 31, 2020 - Economy

Retailers batten storefronts in anticipation of election turmoil

a boarded up well's fargo

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Retailers across the U.S. are boarding up their storefronts and tightening security ahead of predicted unrest in response to next week's election.

The big picture: Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year resulted in more than $1 billion worth of property damage. This time around businesses are hoping to avoid the same outcome if election results spark activism or conflict.

  • Results for the presidential race are expected to be delayed and potentially contested due to an uptick in mail-in voting.

The state of play: Luxury retailers are some of the most prepared storefronts.

  • Tiffany & Co. announced this week that "windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election-related activity," while Saks Fifth Avenue said it's "implementing additional security measures at certain locations in the event of civil unrest due to the current election," per the New York Times.
  • Beverly Hills police say they'll be closing its iconic retail strip Rodeo Drive, the LA Times reports.
  • Macy's premiere State Street Chicago location is also boarding up and "implementing additional security measures" out of an "abundance of caution," per NBC Chicago. The Macy's at Herald Square in New York City is already boarded up, too.

Superstores and pharmacies are also taking precautions. Target will take "precautionary steps to ensure safety at our stores" while CVS leadership is giving staff the "option to board select store locations," the Times reports.

A look at the scene...

Go deeper