NEW YORK (Reuters) – Razor wire, boarded up windows, security guards and dogs. That was the scene on Monday at the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan.
Several security officers dressed in black with dogs stood guard outside of the luxury department store, which has been shuttered for more than two months, video by Reuters showed.
Owned by Canada’s privately run Hudson’s Bay Co, Saks was among the many retailers dubbed “non-essential” and forced to close to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In recent weeks, Saks’ problems have been compounded by widespread U.S. protests that included some incidents of looting after worldwide outrage at a white police officer killing George Floyd, a black man, by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes.
The Saks store is across the street from Rockefeller Center and famous for its holiday window displays.
A person familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that Saks hired a third-party security firm to protect its properties and associates.
Saks stores in Chicago; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Boston; and San Francisco were damaged by looters, the person said. Shops in Atlanta, Columbus, Indianapolis, Phoenix and New Orleans were shuttered as a precaution.
Roughly half of Saks’ 41 stores across the country were open on Tuesday, though on reduced hours.
The demonstrations over the last several days have on the whole been peaceful.
New York City on Monday began the first phase of its reopening, allowing non-essential retailers to offer limited services like curbside pickup. But many have decided to remain shut despite the ease in restrictions.
Saks is expected to open for curbside pickup in New York City this week but has not yet announced a date, the source said.
(Reporting by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)