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Reopening Has to Mean Reinvention

Certainly, online shopping means clothing shopping has remained a viable business throughout the coronavirus pandemic. And even with increased unemployment across the United States, customers are evidently still shopping.

But now, certain states are preparing to — or in some cases already have — allow brick-and-mortar retail stores to reopen after weeks of closure. New York City entered phase one of reopening on June 8, in which retailers are allowed to open for curbside pickup; they will be able to open more fully on a yet-to-determined date for phase two. That uncertainty puts local retailers in a tricky position — when to prepare to reopen? And how? And, will customers or employees even feel comfortable returning if reopening is possible?

For certain shops, allowing for zero-contact pickup isn’t enough to bolster what made those stores successful in the first place — a sense of community and interaction. As the e-commerce boom has already shown, brick-and-mortar retailers today need to offer far more than just good product in order to remain in business, and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated that conundrum.

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