Covid-19 has drastically impacted virtually every part of our lives from school to shopping. It has had a devastating impact on businesses, particularly retailers. The coronavirus outbreak caused the majority of retail businesses across the nation (and world) to temporarily close for several months. It has also caused the bankruptcy filings of 27 retailers so far in 2020, including big brands such as Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Lucky Brand, GNC, J. Crew, and J.C. Penney. Thousands of retail stores have already shut down, with many more to come later in 2020.
But for one new retail chain, the coronavirus caused them to open a new business – selling Covid-19 essential products in malls and downtowns. The store is actually called “Covid-19 Essentials” so there is no doubt as to its business focus and clientele. The chain has several locations in Denver, Miami, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, and has plans to open in smoke-thick California.
The stores sell face shields, personalized masks, portable UV lights, air purifiers, cellphone sterilizers, thermal facial recognition devices, and even a hygienic toilet seat. To enter the store, customers check their temperature with a digital forehead scanner. A sink near the entrance allows customers to wash their hands before handling products.
Now this sounds like a safe place to shop.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on retail.
- Have students list all the businesses that have had to adapt in some way and businesses that closed.
- How have retail stores adjusted to Covid-19 in their midst?
- Show video of Covid-19 Essentials store: https://youtu.be/5idLkCNaB6o
- Show the web site for the New York store: https://www.cv19essential.com/
- Divide students into groups. Have each group review the website, products, and prices.
- Discuss the long-term viability of this store.
Source: New York Times; Retail Dive