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Walmart Shortens Store Operating Hours In Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has shortened the operating hours of all its stores across the United States starting Sunday.

Benzinga · 03/16/2020 12:29

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has shortened the operating hours of all its stores across the United States starting Sunday.

What Happened

All retail stores will be open to customers between 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice, the retailer announced Saturday. Walmart stores are typically open round the clock.

The change comes as demand for certain products like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and non-perishable food items has increased over the last weeks in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the U.S.

Walmart said that the reduced operating hours would allow the staff to restock the products in high demand and also perform "cleaning and sanitizing' inside the stores.

Thousands of Walmart stores in affected areas are already operating under reduced hours, and they will continue to operate under the same timings, the Arkansas-based company said.

"As we make this change, associates will continue to work the hours and shifts they are scheduled, and our supply chain and trucking fleet will continue to move products and deliver to stores on their regular schedules," Walmart U.S. chief operating officer Dacona Smith said in a statement.

Why It Matters

Several other retailers, including Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) and Publix Super Markets Inc., similarly announced that they are cutting short the operating hours of their stores last week, as reported by CNN.

Other companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) have shut down all their outlets in the U.S. for the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) has discontinued all seatings in its cafes for the coming weeks as well, until a better clarity on coronavirus spread is achieved.

Price Action

Walmart's shares closed 9.62% higher at $114.10 on Friday.

Photo Credit: Walmart Corporate via Wikimedia.