High-End Retailers Block Access To Storefronts In New York


As government measures to decelerate the spread of the coronavirus have come into place, many upscale retailers in New York such as Chanel, Celine and Fendi have blocked access to their shops with plywood. Luxury retailers, for their part, have been in lockdown mode in recent weeks in different countries globally, while luxury shops started to accept customers again in Shanghai, The New York Times reported.

Stateside, however, boarded up retail locations have showed up on Los Angeles’ Rodeo Drive, Washington’s 14th Street, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and San Francisco’s Union Square. Users of social media are now putting pictures online of retail hotspots that were once busy quiet and possibly getting ready for civil unrest.

Millions of people have been living with countrywide shutdowns for over a week in Europe. Retail shops in storied retail locations have shut their doors. Window shades and grates have blocked retail stores in Milan’s Via Montenapoleone and Place Vendôme in Paris. Upscale department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods in the U.K., as well as Chopard and Burberry, have taken away jewels and stock from public view.

And, in the United States, President Donald Trump’s move to call for a state of emergency led stores to shutter temporarily throughout the nation. A number of merchants are now dealing with difficult choices about staff and shopper safety in addition to financial survival going forward over the long haul.

In other retail news, department stores in the U.S. are encountering hard times, and some are able to ride out the COVID-19 crisis for approximately eight months prior to the time that liquidity becomes an issue. Other stores have sufficient liquidity to last five months.

The situation is “better than feared,” according to Cowen & Co per previous reports. The firm measured available cash and metrics such as labor, rent and dividend payments. Labor costs take roughly 10 percent of yearly sales, while rent is approximately 3 percent.