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Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, USA

US Elections: Retailers shut stores, brace for violence

Bloomberg has reported that retailers in the United States of America are already making plans to secure their stores against potential election day violence.

There were reports that stores on Rodeo Drive in California will be shut while stores in Magnificent Mile, Chicago, will use barriers to control crowds.

Stores in Fifth Avenue in New York will, however, stay open but quickly shut down in the event of unrest.

Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, has also taken guns off its shelves.

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Matt Hinton, a partner at Control Risks, a security consultancy firm, while explaining possible scenarios, said supporters of both candidates may protest if a winner is not declared on time.

Hinton also projected that a Joe Biden victory could lead to street celebrations that would be countered by Donald Trump’s supporters while a Trump victory would likely result in intense protests.

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Trump, the incumbent president and candidate of the Republican Party, is currently trailing in some polls and has low approval ratings in urban areas.

“If Trump wins, our risk analysts, who look at this every single day, are expecting widespread mass anti-government demonstrations in every major city. Sporadic protests could then break out through Inauguration Day in January,” Hinton said.

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Stores have been taking measures being taken by stores such as upgrading security cameras, relocation of valuable items like jewelery into storage, and round the clock guards.

The US Census Bureau estimates that retail sales declined by $122 billion since March when stores had to be shut to control the spread of coronavirus. Protests against police brutality also resulted in lootings, causing stores to shut down.

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