COVID-19 is expected to force retailers to rethink store sanitization.

store-closed-signRetail and fashion brands have closed stores in North American stores in an effort to contain the coronavirus. Shutterstock / Claudio Divizia

With more than 630,000 retail doors shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Coresight Research, reopening stores is expected to be a gradual process. Industry experts also say companies face a host of challenges in regard to facilities management as well as consumers who have varying degrees of comfort and feelings of safety.

Regarding the latter, retail predictive analytics company, First Insight Inc. recently published a consumer survey gauging where shoppers feel safest. The report found that 54 percent cited grocery stores, followed by drug store chains at 50 percent and 45 percent at big-box retailers. The company noted that 43 percent said the same for “local small businesses and warehouse clubs, respectively,” while malls “were ranked lowest with only 33 percent of respondents saying they would feel safe shopping in these locations.”

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