- States are starting to allow for nonessential retail stores to reopen, though many must operate at a limited capacity.
- Still, it remains to be seen whether shoppers will show up once stores do reopen.
- In a recent Deloitte survey asking people whether they would feel safe going to the store, right now, only 34% of Americans said they would.
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Texas is the latest state to take steps to jumpstart its economy, allowing retail stores, malls, restaurants, and movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity on Friday. A second phase will allow for more kinds of businesses to reopen.
Texas joins other states, including Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and South Carolina, that have allowed states to reopen retail stores.
But amid these reopenings, a major question remains: Will shoppers come?
A recent Deloitte survey asked people in select countries whether they agree with the statement: “I feel safe going to the store right now.” In the US, only 34% of those surveyed responded with “agree” or “strongly agree.”
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This mindset is likely in line with what many retailers expected as they come up with strategies to reopen stores while encouraging hygiene and social distancing.
Macy’s, for example, has a new set of protocols for when it reopens 68 stores on Monday. Frequently visited areas like fitting rooms, bathrooms, and breakrooms will be cleaned more frequently and more visibly, and all alterations, “spa-like,” ear-piercing, and bra-fitting services remain suspended.
Best Buy is similarly reopening 200 locations in early May, but they will be available to appointment only.
Like others, both retailers will require employees to wear masks while at work. Both will also have signs reminding shoppers to maintain social distancing.
Grocery stores and other essential retailers, meanwhile, have remained open with social distancing measures. Some nonessential retailers in reopening states may opt to stay closed.
Deloitte’s survey was conducted online in 13 countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, China, and South Korea. It involved polling 1,000 people in each country.