Does anyone remember a very old SNL skit where some idiot thought it was a sound business plan to open a store in a mall that only sells Scotch tape? This idea isn’t quite that niche but it’s close.

Erik Markowitz opened a store called COVID-19 Essentials at the Mall at Short Hills. It’s a one stop shopping situation for anything you might want to get for while this pandemic lasts. He’s selling everything from hand sanitizer to touchless thermometers to special door openers.

And masks. Lots of masks.

“We're offering a variety of masks that people can't find in one place," Markowitz told the Daily Record. “So we're the one-stop-shop for masks, whether you are going to a wedding and you need a silk mask, or you're going to the gym and you need a sports mask."

So many masks, so little time.

They have silver and white bridal masks. They have Black Lives Matter and I Can’t Breathe masks. Basic masks for as little as $14.99 and high-end high-tech masks for as much as $130. They have sports teams, animal print, children’s masks. They even carry a mask that has a straw built in.

The kids’ masks are going to be hot sellers. Parents sending young kids back to school who have to wear masks and may be giving pushback will love the wide variety to entice their kid into wearing one.

How will the shop turn out? Markowitz is a business veteran who’s been involved in real estate and car washes, and this is actually the third COVID-19 Essentials he’s opened. The first one was in Miami and it proved so quickly successful that he expanded to King of Prussia Mall and now the one at the Mall of Short Hills.

How long will this business model lasts? Markowitz knows as soon as the pandemic releases us from its grip the business is done. “I really feel like the sooner I go out of business the better it will be for everybody.”

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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