The coming effects of looting on urban retail

One thing After Shopping hadn’t anticipated upon launch was the potential impact of looting on the retail landscape. An unfortunate side effect of recent protests is the ancillary result: groups of instigators and opportunists, seeing an outlet in the mayhem, trashing all manner of stores in all manner of neighborhoods.

An article in today’s New York Times sums it up well: amid the crowds and their waves of anger, some of those waves are cresting with shattered windows and emptied stores. The result is shopping corridors gutted of commerce, and storefronts likely to be shuttered for weeks or months, as shop owners grapple with replacing fixtures and merchandise, making essential repairs, and negotiating with insurers.

We will be looking for news on the fallout of these actions in the coming days and weeks, once the protests—and looting—calm down and retailers begin to take stock of the damage.