Walmart Cuts Hours and Starbucks Closes Stores as Retail Response to Coronavirus Widens

Walmart is cutting hours and Starbucks is closing stores, widening the retailer response to the coronavirus. They join the list of retailers, including Apple and Nike, acting to lessen the spread of Covid-19.
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The list of U.S. retailers that are closing their stores or cutting hours to avoid the spread of the coronavirus continues to mount.

Walmart  (WMT) - Get Report on Sunday began limiting hours around the country. Stores normally open 24 hours are now open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Other stores, which generally keep their doors open until midnight, will cut back too.

"This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing," Dacona Smith, Walmart U.S.’s chief operating officer, wrote on the company’s blog.

Meanwhile, Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Report will temporarily close company-owned stores in “high-social gathering locations,” such as malls and university campuses.

It also is implementing store closures or reduced operating hours in communities with at least 19 cases of the coronavirus. In addition, the Seattle coffee-shop titan is eliminating the use of seating.

“Every community’s needs are incredibly different,” Rossann Williams, executive vice president of the company’s U.S. operated business, said in a statement.

“We want to make sure we play a constructive role by taking responsible actions, in partnership with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and local public health authorities, so we can continue to do what’s right for our partners and customers.”

Other retailers cutting back include Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report, which is shuttering all stores outside Greater China until March 27, and Nike  (NKE) - Get Report, which is closing all its U.S. stores for 12 days.

More than 173,000 people have the virus worldwide, and more than 6,600 have died, according to Worldometer. The numbers in the U.S. are 3,802 infected and 69 dead.