Covid-19 Essentials with eight locations around the country may be the country’s first retail chain dedicated solely to products required because of an infectious disease.
With many U.S. stores closing during the coronavirus pandemic, especially inside malls, the chain has seized on the empty space, as well as the world’s growing acceptance that wearing masks is a reality that may last well into 2021, if not longer. Masks have evolved from a utilitarian, anything-you-can-find-that-works product into another way to express one’s personality, political leanings or sports fandom.
And the owners of Covid-19 Essentials are betting that Americans are willing to put their money toward covering where their mouth is. Prices range from $19.99 for a simple children’s mask to $130 for the top-of-the-line face covering, with an N95 filter and a battery-powered fan.
Covid-19 Essentials also carries other accessories for the pandemic, in a space that has a more established feel than a holiday pop-up store; permanent signage above its glass doors includes a stylized image of a coronavirus particle. Not that the owners want their products to be in demand forever.
The chain has locations in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Las Vegas, and is looking to open stores in California, where the wildfires have only added to the demand for masks.
Why it’s hot: As the pandemic sticks around, certain products have become essential while some have seen demand skyrocket. With many traditional retailers manufacturing and selling masks, it’s no surprise that there is now a dedicated retailer selling products associated with this ongoing pandemic that isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, unfortunately.