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Companies Are Boarding Up Their Storefronts In Anticipation Of Civil Unrest After The Election

Saks Fifth Avenue told BuzzFeed News "the safety of customers, associates, and communities, as well as the protection of our physical assets, is of utmost importance."

Posted on November 2, 2020, at 4:56 p.m. ET

Chris Pizzello / AP

Companies like Target, Macy's, and Saks Fifth Avenue are boarding up their storefronts across the country ahead of the election on Tuesday.

Reps for these businesses told BuzzFeed News they're operating out of "an abundance of caution" and for "protection of physical assets" in the event civil unrest breaks out in response to the results.

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People on the ground in cities like NYC, DC, and Chicago are sharing videos and images of efforts by some of the biggest corporations in the US to secure their premises. Some are also noting that this is the "first time" they've observed such heightened security measures around a presidential election.

DC is boarding up, never seen this in an election till Trump 🤦🏾‍♂️

Chicago is boarding up. One day. #Election2020

The most drastic and widespread efforts seem to be by big banks, department stores, and other national retailers.

In statements provided to BuzzFeed News, companies said they'll be taking any and all security measures to ensure employees and inventory are secure — including beefing up security presence during or after the election results are announced.

"Out of an abundance of caution, like many businesses, we are implementing additional security measures at certain locations in the event of civil unrest due to the current election," a spokesperson for Saks Fifth Avenue said. "This could include boarding or additional security personnel. As always, the safety of our customers, associates, and communities, as well as the protection of our physical assets, is of utmost importance."

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are implementing additional security measures at several of our stores," a spokesperson for Macy's echoed.

A spokesperson for Target said its "top priority is the safety of team members and guests."

"We’re taking precautionary steps to ensure safety at our stores, including giving our store leaders guidance on how to take care of their teams. We’ll continue to monitor our communities closely and make decisions accordingly," the company added.

Jeff Chiu / AP

As some have already noted online, the images have become emblematic of the high stakes and collective panic the country is experiencing.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.