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Retailers In The Eye Of The Storm During Twin Cities Unrest

On May 29, morning news reports aired scenes of fire crews dousing the smoldering remains of a Family Dollar and a Foot Locker in south Minneapolis. These were two among dozens of retail establishments in Minneapolis and twin city St. Paul that had been damaged, looted and/or burned down after three nights of demonstrations erupted into widespread destruction.

The unrest stemmed from the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, while he was detained by four police officers. The officer who was recorded with his knee on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on charges of third-degree murder in the afternoon of May 29, according to the New York Times. It’s not clear whether this action will calm the situation in the Twin Cities.

Nineteen CVS Pharmacy units were closed as of May 29, according to a TwinCities.com report, and 16 pharmacies, including the pharmacies CVS operates within Target stores, had been damaged. Three additional locations were closed “out of an abundance of caution and to ensure our store teams remain safe,” a CVS spokesperson told the news site.

Six Target stores were closed, including the looted and heavily damaged Lake Street store featured prominently in news reports. Numerous Walgreens stores in Minneapolis and St. Paul were shuttered after being heavily damaged and looted, and at least one was burned down. An AutoZone was destroyed by fire the previous night.

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Minneapolis stores run by several national chains were also damaged and looted, including Apple, Cub Foods, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, GameStop, H&M, Kmart, Sephora, Timberland and Urban Outfitters. Many of those same companies also had affected stores in St. Paul, and Lululemon, Sprint, T-Mobile, TJ Maxx, Verizon and Vitamin Shoppe locations also were involved, along with dozens of local enterprises across the Twin Cities.

The Mall of America, located 10 miles away in Bloomington, was set to reopen June 1 after a COVID-19 shutdown. According to its web site, the reopening has been delayed “given the significant unrest in the community” and has not yet been rescheduled.

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