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Coronavirus store closings, store hours: What’s open amid COVID-19


The lights have gone out chain by chain.

First came Apple. Urban Outfitters, Nike, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Victoria’s Secret followed.

As normal everyday life grinds to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, some of the nation’s biggest retailers have temporarily closed thousands of stores across the country to help stem the spread of the virus. Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping malls in the nation, closed all of its properties on Wednesday.

Not everyone is deserting their posts, though. Businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies that sell food, medicine and household essentials are keeping their doors open, though many are shortening store hours to have more time to clean and restock shelves. Walmart, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, is shortening hours beginning Thursday, for the second time in less than a week.

Those stores are joined by office supply and home improvement chains that say they too provide essentials. 

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Home Depot has cut store hours because of the coronavirus but stores remain open.

And then there are retailers like GameStop and Barnes & Noble, who are staying open with reduced hours and have taken steps to implement social distancing. Experts say these stores don’t fulfill a critical need in the same way as CVS and Home Depot.

Neil Saunders, managing director of retail consultancy Global Data, put it bluntly.

“They probably want to remain open to make money,” Saunders told USA TODAY, a move he said could be a mistake. “There is increasing pressure from staff and from the public for these kinds of retailers to justify why they are open.”

Providing essentials during coronavirus crisis

Starting Thursday, Walgreens stores nationwide have adjusted hours. Most locations, including 24-hour stores, will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. The drive-thru at 24-hour pharmacy locations will remain open for pickup of prescriptions and other select products.

Competitor CVS isn’t making a similar move at this time.

“We currently have no plans to close stores or alter hours of operation unless directed to do so,” T.J. Crawford, CVS Health vice president, external affairs, said in a statement to USA TODAY.





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