Fashion from afar: teen takes on shopping while distancing

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By Nameera Khan and Jessica Sandoval, Staff Writers

Due to the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, New York City students have been quarantined in their homes. Although many retail stores have closed, persistent advertising from clothing companies has pushed many Townsend Harris students to start online shopping. 

Increasing health concerns related to the outbreak led stores to take initiative and temporarily close down to protect both their staff and customers. Freshman Jason Song said, “It’s affected me because my family and I usually go to a lot of malls on the weekends but after they closed we haven’t been shopping a lot.” 

Junior Natalie Smith has resorted to online shopping to make up for the closing of stores. “Having an elderly [person] in the house makes it irresponsible to go out now…I try to compensate for my spring shopping by buying from Princess Polly and Pretty Little Thing.”

Because malls are closed, popular brands like Fashion Nova, Garage Clothing, and Forever 21 have been using their online platforms like email lists, social media, and ads to reach out to consumers. Many brands are taking advantage of the quarantine in order to promote sales. For example, Fashion Nova has used slogans like “Quarantine And Chill” and “Grocery Store Chic.” Other brands like Garage Clothing, a “trendy” clothing store, have also used these tactics.

Students at Townsend Harris, like freshman Jaiden Del Rosario, have already caved into online shopping. “I definitely think they are having all these deals because everyone is home and bored… [companies] probably figured that… [consumers] would buy a lot,” said Jaiden. Sophomore Christine Kim has given into the advertising and said, “I already bought… $200 worth of clothes off American Eagle.”

Quarantined students throughout New York City have also used the popular short video social media app TikTok to take advantage of these promotions. Various accounts and posts have been dedicated to providing viewers with discount-codes for Amazon, and other shops. Freshman Andre Dayoan said, “I’ve seen a lot of TikTok accounts promot[ing] deals on [web]sites, and my older sister has been tempted to shop because of it.”

However, many companies have not been doing well, even with online sales. JCPenney, for example, has filed for bankruptcy. COVID-19 has not only affected the fashion industry but also the food service industry. Baked By Melissa, a popular food chain, had to close its doors. 

Throughout this all, online shopping is ideal for those following the regulations. These deals have helped companies increase their revenue given the dramatic decline in the stock market. Stay-at-home orders for New York City have been pushed back from May 15 to June 7, so New Yorkers are preparing to stay indoors longer. 

When it is safe to open stores, business must now adapt to this new normal and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks and gloves will be an important rule for customers and employees to follow. For now, online shopping is still important for companies to focus on.