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Updates & Recommendations Relating To Store Looting, Vandalism & Arson

May 30:

After another night of deep unrest and significant destruction of property in Minneapolis and to some degree in other parts of the metro, we want to provide you a few updates.

  • CURFEWS: The vast majority of local governments in the metro have instituted curfews that continue tonight from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., with a few variations on the times.  Please check with your local government for times and updates on how curfews impact employees traveling to and from work. Curfews are likely to and should be enforced to a much greater degree than last night as a tool to maintain order and prevent looting and arson.

  • LAW ENFORCEMENT PRESENCE: According to the plans discussed this morning by the Governor and key law enforcement leaders, this evening Minneapolis and St. Paul are positioned to enforce curfews as a means to identify and deal with vandals, looters and those setting fires.  Please take a moment to remind your employees of the importance of obeying the curfews as a tool to separate those peacefully protesting and living their lives  from those committing unlawful acts.  Minneapolis, St. Paul and the State plan a large law enforcement presence this evening and have created the expectation they will be addressing those out past curfew as a tool for curbing unlawful activities.

  • POP UP LOOTING: Pop up looting and property destruction continues to occur around the metro, not just in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Targeted business tend to be liquor, high-end clothing, tobacco, phones, electronics, pharmacy and convenience stores, but frankly no retailer is immune to this activity.  We recommend all metro stores consider appropriate actions to safeguard your customers, employees and inventory.  We have seen a number of store closures, boarding up of windows and communication with local law enforcement to help assess the situation.

  • SHORT-TERM: We hope for a better night tonight but unfortunately recommend retailers plan as if unrest continues.

Some MnRA members have experienced complete or partial store losses. In addition, all retailers including our small businesses and new American-owned businesses are experiencing customer impacts only exacerbating the current COVID-19 environment.

MnRA is in communication with elected officials and law enforcement, and any retailer is welcome to contact us at any time for assistance.

We continue to pray for peace and justice, with the family of George Floyd, our communities, and a restoration of peace at the center of those prayers.

 

May 29:

Good afternoon MnRA members.  Just an FYI that a curfew will be instituted by the Governor for Minneapolis and St. Paul beginning this evening from 8:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.  The curfew will be evaluated on a day by day basis.

 

May 28:

Just a quick note as I am sure those of you with stores in the metro area are monitoring the unrest closely. 

We have noted some instances where local police departments are recommending to businesses that they consider closing due to mobile groups that are looting stores or the potential for looting is high. In anticipation of demonstrations, Metro Transit has shut down light rail service and bus service will stop as of 4:00 p.m.

We recommend:

  1. Monitor your local police department’s social media feed or make a call to seek the advice of law enforcement.

  2. Error on the side of the safety of your employees and customers as you make decisions over the next couple of days, being mindful of how quickly situations can change.

  3. Be prepared to secure and close your store.

  4. Create a quick inventory of products on hand in the event you would need to file an insurance claim, including pictures and a date stamp.

Our hearts ache in this situation. We pray for justice and peace, and that stores are kept in a position where they are ready to the serve community needs in a safe, peaceful environment.

Please let us know if you need anything.

About the Author

Bruce Nustad

Bruce Nustad is president of the Minnesota Retailers Association.

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