Shattered storefronts and 'eat the rich' graffiti: Photos show the aftermath of destruction in luxury stores that were looted and vandalized during the protests

insider@insider.com (Dominic-Madori Davis)
Gucci on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California

MARK RALSTON / Contributor / Getty Images

Luxury stores — specifically in the wealthy areas of Beverly Hills and SoHo — were looted and vandalized this past weekend.

In SoHo, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the US, many luxury stores were already boarded up due to closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the pandemic did not cause the rampant looting many expected it might cause, vandalism escalated following protests over racial injustice and the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Big-box retailers like Target, small businesses, and mom-and-pop shops are also being targeted by looters. But the specific targeting of luxury stores highlights the economic tension brought forth by the rising inequality in the United States. In the past three months, 40 million Americans filed for unemployment due to coronavirus-related layoffs; meanwhile, CNBC reported on May 21 that America's billionaires had collectively become $434 billion richer.

Chanel, Goyard, Gucci, and Hermes are some of the most notable names in luxury, and some of the most recognizable symbols of wealth and exclusivity. They were among the stores targeted by looters.

Here are photos of some of the most notable luxury retailers that were looted and vandalized amid the protests.

Protests have erupted all over the United States after the killing of a black man named George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

A protester holding a Black Lives Matter / Dump Trump sign stands in front of a Florida State Troopers line on a highway during a rally in response to the recent death of George Floyd in Miami, Florida, on May 31, 2020.

RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP via Getty Images

A viral video showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of a black man named George Floyd for almost nine minutes. 

Floyd later died, sparking protests throughout the nation against police brutality. 

Floyd's death was the latest in a series of instances of systemic racial injustice, including the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, and a viral video of a white woman calling the police on a black man who asked her to put a leash on her dog in accordance with local law. 

After days of protest, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers reportedly involved in Floyd's arrest were fired from their jobs, but have yet to be arrested.

Source: Business Insider

Amid the protests, looters began targeting luxury retail stores across the country, from Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood to Beverly Hills' famous Rodeo Drive.

La Perla in Beverly Hills, California

MARK RALSTON / Contributor / Getty Images

Source: WWD

Though small businesses and big-box retailers are also being looted, some people have taken this time to specifically express their frustration over other aspects of American society — like rampant economic inequality.

Goyard store in Beverly Hills, California

MARK RALSTON / Contributor / Getty Images

In the past three months, 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment because of coronavirus layoffs. Meanwhile, America's billionaires have become $434 billion richer, CNBC reported on May 21.

High-end retailers such as Chanel and Gucci are some of the most recognizable names in luxury, meaning they are also symbols of wealth and exclusivity. During the protests, many of the stores were defaced with the words "eat the rich."

Source: WWD

Designer stores in other cities, like Boston, Atlanta, and Seattle, were also looted, vandalized, or covered in graffiti.

Chanel store on Newbury street in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maddie Meyer / Staff / Getty Images

Source: AJC

Many luxury stores were already boarded up as retailers throughout the world shut because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hermes in Beverly Hills, California.

MARK RALSTON / Contributor / Getty Images

Source: New York Times

Gucci, which saw destruction to and looting from some of its stores, directly addressed the protests on social media.

Gucci on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California

MARK RALSTON / Contributor / Getty Images

On Instagram, the brand shared a poem by author Cleo Wade, pictured below:

 

Other retailers, such as Louis Vuitton, have received backlash for seemingly ignoring the protests. This past weekend, the brand released the campaign for its latest bag collection.

Louis Vuitton store in New York, New York.

REUTERS

Amid the protests, Louis Vuitton released the campaign for its latest bag collection. After influencers shared posts of the new bag, people flooded the brand's comment sections to express their disappointment. 

"I'm so disappointed in you guys," one user wrote. "Say something meaningful at a time like this. Nobody cares about bags right now. Money isn't everything."

"No post about George Floyd?" questioned another

"Your store got stolen from in the riots," commented another

Tyler McCall, editor-in-chief of the fashion website Fashionista, also slammed the brand, writing on Twitter, "Absolutely going to need to understand why a luxury brand moved forward with a massive influencer social media push to launch a new bag TODAY! That's bad marketing, y'all! Put that on pause! Read the room!"

Source: Instagram, Instagram, Twitter

Protesters also looted watch stores ...

Swatch store in Downtown Manhattan.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

... and jewelry stores in SoHo.

The Uno de 50 jewellery store in New York

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Source: CBS Local

A Dolce & Gabbana location in Manhattan was also targeted by looters, who smashed the glass windows of the storefront ...

Dolce and Gabbana in New York

Mark Lennihan / AP

Source: CBC Local

High-end accessories brand Moncler's store was also targeted.

A Moncler store in SoHo.

Raymond Hall/GC Images / Getty Images

Source: CBS Local

Nordstrom saw its Los Angeles location in The Grove vandalized. The retailer also issued a statement on the protests in an open letter to its employees.

Nordstrom in The Grove, Los Angeles, California.

VALERIE MACON / Contributor / Getty Images

Nordstrom wrote an open letter to its employees about the death of George Floyd, saying that this was a "painful time" for the United States and the events happening are "heartbreaking." 

"The unnecessary and unjust killing of anyone must not be accepted. The issue of race and the experiences of too many people of color cannot be ignored," the letter read.

"We owe it to our employees, our customers, and our communities to be very clear in condemning these acts of violence. They represent a disregard for basic human rights that has no place in our communities or country, and certainly not at Nordstrom," it continued.

FOX Business' Evie Fordham reported that Nordstrom's headquarters in Seattle was also looted for designer handbags.

Business Insider's Hayley Peterson reported that Nordstrom shut all of its locations Sunday after the protests. 

"To help keep everyone safe, we made the decision to temporarily close our stores yesterday," Nordstrom said in a notice posted to its website on Monday. "Some of our stores were impacted by gatherings in our cities this weekend, and we wanted to take the time to assess the damage, repair and reopen those stores so we can continue serving customers as soon as possible."

Source: Nordstrom, FOX Business

L'Occitane en Provence, a beauty retailer, had its windows broken during the looting in New York City.

L'Occitane in New York, New York.

JOHANNES EISELE / Contributor / Getty Images

Source: CBS Local

Twitter users also captured videos of stores being looted and shared them on social media.

Luxury

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

 

 

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