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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

How to watch the battleground states

Data: Secretaries of state offices and state election boards, Real Clear Politics; Chart: Sara Wise and Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

We're not going to know the next president until we have a clear idea of who's winning the battleground states — and some of those results will be delayed as states sort through an avalanche of mail-in ballots.

The big picture: If it's close, Americans could face a days-long waiting game to find out who the president-elect will be — especially if it comes down to Pennsylvania, where we might not know the results until at least Friday.

3 hours ago - Science

The "war on nature"

A resident stands on his roof as the Blue Ridge Fire burned back in October in Chino Hills, Calif. Photo: Jae C. Hong/AP

Apocalyptic weather is the new normal because humans are "waging war on nature," the UN declared on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "The state of the planet is broken," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, reports AP. “This is suicidal.”

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.