Today, New Yorkers who stop by Saks’ iconic store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will see its windows adorned with pictures and stories that highlight voting milestones throughout the history of the United States.
The experience, which runs through early October, is just one of the ways the luxury department store is gearing up ahead of the 2020 elections, which will be held on Nov. 3. Starting Sept. 22, or National Voter Registration Day, the retailer is installing booths inside its store in midtown Manhattan, where customers can not only register for the election, but also print out an absentee ballot application and check on their current registration status through an online hub created in partnership with nonpartisan group Vote.org. (The platform is also accessible via Saks.com/RegisterToVote.)
What’s more, Saks is making Election Day a holiday for corporate employees. It said that it would work with store and operations teams on scheduling to allow all of its associates to get to the polls.
The New York-based chain added that it has partnered with HeadCount, a nonprofit that works with musicians to promote voter participation in the election process, to have representatives on site to walk visitors through registration and answer any voting-related questions.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. is facing a record shortage of poll workers even as a growing number of Americans are expected to cast their ballots by mail in the 2020 presidential election.
An increasing number of brands are engaging in efforts to get out the vote: Keds and Birdies are among those that have launched consumer-facing initiatives through product to whip up excitement ahead of November, while Birkenstock, Steve Madden and Nike have pledged to close their offices on Election Day to give employees an opportunity to head to the polls. Separately, Old Navy is paying its store employees to work the polls, while Nordstrom partnered with two nonprofits to offer digital volunteer opportunities, curbside voter registration and a suite of other resources to encourage voter education and participation.
The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America has also introduced online hub ShoeVoter.info to provide members of the shoe industry a range of information, including their state’s registration rules and deadlines, absentee ballot guidelines, voting locations and requirements, plus a list of candidates in their district.