Many retailers including Apple, Gucci, H&M, and Under Armour declined to comment to on their security plans as worries about election unrest mount. However, more than two dozen security consultants, insurers, contractors and store employees told Reuters that companies are installing reinforced glass, hiring security guards or retaining on-call teams that barricade and board up buildings. The Apple Fifth Avenue glass cube remains barricaded since June.
Retailers are on edge after raiders earlier this year smashed windows, stole merchandise and, at times, set stores ablaze in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Portland and other U.S. cities… Foot Locker in its quarterly report on Aug. 21, said it racked up $18 million in costs from “recent social unrest.”
While still open for shoppers, stores like Gucci, H&M, and Nordstrom are also boarded up after looters targeted the city’s famed retail district in the spring and summer, when protests gripped more than 100 U.S. cities.
As security experts warn that the U.S. presidential election could spark renewed civil unrest, those stores remain clad in plywood as retailers seek to keep property and employees safe in the event street violence flares anew.
Aon Plc, the world’s largest insurance broker, told Reuters the majority of retailer clients it surveyed are considering boarding up stores because they are worried about looting around the election. Aon executive MaryAnne Burke said about 70% of these retailer clients did so during protests in May and June.
Construction scaffolding provider Starr Industries sheltered Apple’s all-glass “Cube” store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue behind heavy barricades and chain link fencing on June 1. It is now on standby for several companies with stores in that upscale section of New York City. “Because of the election, they are worried that the same thing will happen,” said Marian Bobelea, Starr’s president.
MacDailyNews Note: Here’s an image of the Apple Fifth Avenue glass cube entrance sans barricade: