US Stores Cut Hours, Close Doors

Shortened hours give chains like Walmart time to restock, clean
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2020 8:05 AM CDT
US Stores Cut Hours, Close Doors
Shelves sit empty of paper products at a Walmart, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Hudson, Mass.   (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

For those Americans whose answer to social distancing is to crowd their local grocery stores and frantically empty paper product aisles like there would never be Charmin to be squeezed again, well, those stores see you and they are reacting. Walmart is typical in its efforts, reports NPR, announcing this week that managers have the "discretion to limit sales quantities on items that are in unusually high demand." Target, Walgreens, Wegmans, and Albertsons are imposing similar limits on things like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and household cleaners.

Many chains are also adjusting store hours, reports CNN, with all of the nation's 4,700 Walmarts switching over to a 6am to 11pm schedule effective Sunday until further notice. Harris Teeter announced that it was closing its stores at 9pm each night to "focus on cleaning, replenishment, and the well-being of our valued associates." Whole Foods is changing hours, adding hand sanitizer stations, and adding "deep cleanings throughout the day." Another casualty for lovers of freebies: food and drink sampling stations at many stores. In the non-grocery arena, Urban Outfitters announced it was closing its stores until at least March 28. (More coronavirus stories.)

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