This past weekend, Shield Pals, a Maryland-based personal protective equipment (PPE) retailer, opened for business the first PPE consumer retail location established in the U.S. after the COVID-19 outbreak. Shield Pals’s flagship store is located at the Mall in Columbia in Columbia, MD, and carries face shields, sneeze guards, door openers, and gowns, in addition to face masks, hand sanitizers, and other PPE from local suppliers. Online customers are now able to pick up their orders from the location as well.
The store features creative solutions for keeping in-person customers safe while they shop, including the installment of hands-free hand sanitizer testers throughout the store and clearly marked decals on the floor to facilitate store flow and social distancing. There is also a kids section with a sanitized coloring wall, an area for free business consultations, and a giant Shield Pals face shield centerpiece where visitors can pose for pictures. “This is what our vision of a PPE store looks like,” says Chris McCormick, co-founder of Shield Pals. “It’s a unique, family-friendly experience that we hope will promote best practices for hygiene and personal safety in a post-COVID world.”