COVID-19 Essentials is a startup designed to end with the pandemic
Retailers usually open their doors in hopes of having a long, sustainable future. A recently opened chain, however, can’t wait for the day its selection of products is no longer a necessity.
COVID-19 Essentials, a retail chain geared entirely toward COVID-19-related products and accessories, recently opened a location in Park Meadows, CO, one of its eight locations throughout the country, according to Kaiser Health News. The retailer sells an array of masks, from merely functional to fashionable and from low-price to top-of-the line. It even offers mask customization.
COVID-19 Essentials also sells hand sanitizer, devices for the contact-free opening of doors, ultraviolet light devices for disinfecting and other solutions to meet public health needs in the era of the novel coronavirus. The chain began early in the pandemic in a suburban Miami shopping mall to meet the need for N95 masks. The chain’s other locations are in New York City, New Jersey, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. COVID-19 Essentials is planning to open additional locations in California.
While the multi-store chain may be the first concept fully dedicated to selling pandemic protection products, other brands have opened one-off shops with a similar focus.
A PPE-focused store called Shield Pals opened in June in a mall in Columbia, MD. The store sells a line of fun masks and face shields featuring cartoon animals and other designs, primarily geared towards dentists and others in roles working with children.
The sudden need for PPE has offered opportunities for other operators as well.
Crafting marketer Etsy, for example, had struggled prior to the pandemic. When the outbreak began, Etsy first experienced a bottoming out and then saw sales explode as its artisans helped fill a need to face masks and other products in demand by consumers forced to stay at home.
- Making Money Off Masks, COVID-Spawned Chain Store Aims to Become Obsolete – Kaiser Health News
- Will a PPE retailer make it in the mall? – RetailWire
- Etsy’s stock jumps to record, tripling in three months on surge in face mask sales – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see opportunities for COVID-19-focused retail concepts to be successful in markets across the U.S.? Will new habits, such as mask wearing, become routine practices in a post-pandemic world, and what will it mean for retail?