b'PHYSICALWHY DEISMALLGETTING RETAILSMATTERS MINERSPOLITICALFUTURE STRUGGLE IN PUBLIC THE FUTUREWHATSOF PHYSICAL RETAIL?From fewer stores to socially distancedshelving, heres how COVID-19has changed the in-store experience.BY LENORE FEDOWT he onset of the COVID-19 pandemiccustomer safety and the health of theircases was still climbing and what retailers in the United States in March sent re- businesses, if that was even possible. thought were temporary safety protocols, tailers scrambling to find answers to aThey had to be quick on their feet whenfrom sanitation stations to social distancing million questions that just kept on coming. day-to-day operations fundamentallysignage, now seem here to stay for the When can we reopen?, How do we dochanged, from offering curbside pickup andforeseeable future.that safely?, and How do I keep my busi- doing engagement ring consultations overThe list of questions grows longer by the ness afloat in the meantime? they askedZoom in the early stages of the pandemicday but the overarching unknown is, what themselves, government officials, retailto implementing in-store mask policies andis retail going to look like in the wake of organizations and each other. installing hand sanitizer stations as reopen- COVID-19?Uncertainty abounded, and they hadings rolled out. We reached out to retail experts and dug to find a way to strike a balance betweenMonths later, the number of COVID-19through data to find some answers.8 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2020'