Some retailers, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, are now contending with looting and vandalism in the wake of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.
Major companies like Target, Walmart and Nike, along with small family businesses, have closed hundreds of stores or seen them damaged during the protests, which in some instances have turned violent, according to the Wall Street Journal. Adidas has announced it is temporarily closing all of its stores in the country, and Amazon is modifying its delivery routes in some cities to help protect its employees.
The protestors are focused on broad issues of social justice and racism, and several business owners and executives expressed support for them. A former Minneapolis police officer has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.
Target, which is based in Minneapolis, closed more than 200 stores over the weekend, but some have already reopened with reduced hours. One of the company’s stores on Lake Street in south Minneapolis was one of the first businesses to be damaged in the protests last week.
Cynthia Gerdes, co-founder of the restaurant Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis, had shut down in March because of the pandemic but was preparing to start offering takeout in July. However, she told the Journal she is now trying to determine how Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests will affect Minneapolis’ businesses going forward.
“It’s a double whammy,” she said. “It’s a gut punch.”
Stores in New York that were damaged during the protests included a Coach in Midtown; Chanel, Prada and Ganni locations in Soho; and a Walgreens, CVS, GameStop and bike store in the East Village, according to the New York Post. [WSJ, NYP] — Eddie Small