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Businesses prepare for election unrest by boarding up storefronts

"We're taking steps to help keep our customers and employees safe and our stores secure, and that includes boards or additional security at some of our locations"
Credit: SLBJ
An entrance to the Nordstrom at the Saint Louis Galleria was boarded on Thursday.

ST. LOUIS — Bracing for potential unrest after next week's election, some area businesses are choosing to board up storefronts beforehand.

The move comes just months after plywood barriers, installed after windows were smashed in downtown St. Louis and elsewhere, were taken down as protests related to the May death of George Floyd subsided.

Nordstrom's Saint Louis Galleria store had plywood covering one of its entrances Thursday. So did Nordstrom Rack, just down the road at 1585 S. Brentwood Blvd.

Nordstrom said in a statement that it's "monitoring the situation so we can be prepared for any activities that might take place across the U.S. on November 3 and potentially in the days following."

"We're taking steps to help keep our customers and employees safe and our stores secure, and that includes boards or additional security at some of our locations," the Seattle retailer said.

Other businesses are looking to use the same strategy.

Bill Kortkamp, owner of Acme Glass Co. in The Ville, said he's gotten calls from several retailers seeking to board up storefronts, though he's too busy with other work to take the jobs.

He said an eye care store, shoe retailer and arts supplies dealer were among those calling. At least one was in south city, Kortkamp said.

Evita Caldwell, spokeswoman for the city of St. Louis' police department, said "our department monitors any potential civil unrest."

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