Nearly four months have passed since Supreme had to temporarily shut down its stores in the U.S., but the streetwear brand is finally ready to open them back up. Supreme has announced that starting this Thursday, July 2, its locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco will be back in business after being on hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak. That's going to be exciting for hypebeasts in those cities who have been constrained to online shopping on Supreme's site, which is often flooded by bots that scoop up most products and make them sell out in a matter of seconds.
A safe line — Naturally, the famed Supreme lines won't be the same as before: There are now safety guidelines in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a requirement for customers to wear masks. Supreme also says that social-distancing measures "will be observed in and around the store," and it plans to provide shoppers with hand sanitizer that it will "strongly encourage" they use.
In New York City, for instance, many stores that have reopened in recent weeks are only allowing a small number of customers to go in at a time. Supreme's lines tend to be long on launch-day Thursdays at its retail stores – I've waited for a few hours in the past — and these new safety procedures are likely going to make that shopping process even longer than before. But, hopefully for everyone who may be in attendance in NYC, LA, or SF, the brand has figured out a way for the entire experience to be done in a safe manner.
The "new normal" — As more and more stores reopen post-COVID-19, these types of safety procedures will become the new norm, as companies look to protect both their employees and customers from a disease that has turned the world and global economy upside down.
Heidi O'Neill, president of Consumer and Marketplace at Nike, which also closed its stores earlier this year, told Input in an interview in May that safety will now be a major priority for every brand and their stores. "The expectation of a shopping experience will increase after the crisis," she said. "Just from a safety perspective, consumers will have new expectations, and I'm sure you're seeing this in your grocery stores and the few places [when] you are out and about now. Safety will become a new expectation in terms of service too."