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Most Americans Say They Would Be Uncomfortable Going to Retail Stores Right Now

As the United States readies itself to re-open following non-essential business lockdowns due to the coronavirus crisis, many Americans are reluctant to see states easing restrictions.

For instance, only 34% believes retail shops, such as clothing stores, should be allowed to reopen, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, conducted from April 28 to May 3 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults.

The research also found that regardless of current restrictions, 67% would be “uncomfortable” going to a retail clothing store, while 56% of the U.S. public surveyed said they would feel most comfortable only going grocery shopping.

Movie theaters and gyms had the lowest level of support for reopening their doors at 18% and 22%, respectively. Regarding the business that had the highest support for reopening, golf-courses ranked highest at 41%.

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Despite consumer apprehension, many companies are beginning to execute their reopening processes. Kohl’s, for example, brought back stores in four states on Monday with an additional 10 states to see Kohl’s stores back in business on May 11. Skechers also plans to have 350 stores, primarily in North America, operational by the third week of May. It has already reopened locations in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado and Missouri, among other states.

For what it’s worth, retailers that are beginning to resume business say they are planning to take proper safety precautions, such as outfitting stores with hand-sanitizing stations, plexiglass partitions at registers and signage encouraging social distancing.

Overall, Americans seem split when it comes to overarching fears regarding the coronavirus outbreak. According to the report, 31% of respondents said they feel the worst is over while another 30% think the worst is happening now. However, 38% said they fear the worst is still to come.

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