Retailers preparing for future of shopping post-COVID-19

At Suitsupply men's shop in SOHO, customers will be surrounded by plexiglass.

Fokke de Jong, the CEO and founder of the international company says “Our associates can still do pinning and tailoring while staying safe, there will be no exchange of air.”

Customers can also live video shop online with a sales associate and pick out what they want to try on and the clothing and fitting rooms will be cleaned after every use and customers and employees will wear masks.

Meanwhile, stores like the Container Store and Best Buy are offering shopping by appointment only.

“It's going to be one-on-one appointment only for a lot of businesses which is getting back to the essence of what retail used to be,” says Fashion industry business consultant Martel Francois. Francois says stores will be doing whatever they can to get you back in the store again.

“I have retailers contacting me saying we're doing 30 percent off, 40 percent off.  Tell your clients to come in,” Francois said.

Ted Potrikus is the President and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State which represents both small businesses and large retail chains.  He acknowledges it’s going to be difficult for every store to get thousands of customers to commit to appointment-only shopping in order for the stores to survive long-term. 

“I'm not sure how anything is going to happen in the future," Potrikus said. "You're building the airplane as you're flying across the country and we are way up in the sky trying to figure out how you don't plummet."


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