Major retailers across the country are temporarily closing their stores in areas hit hard with protests against police violence.
Target,Â AppleÂ andÂ Amazon-owned Whole Foods are among the retailers that announced they would shutter locations temporarily or adjust store hours around citywide curfews. Some Apple, Target and Whole Foods stores were damaged by looting, as demonstrations turned violent in several cities across the U.S.
In recent days, protests have erupted nationwide over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. On Friday, Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floydâ€™s neck before he died,Â was taken into custodyÂ and charged with murder. The anger in response to Floydâ€™s killing resulted in clashes with police and looting in several cities.
The protests are likely to set back some retailersâ€™ plans to reopen stores that were closed in the wake of the pandemic. For example, Apple had already shuttered about half of its 271 stores in the U.S. amid the coronavirus outbreak, though itÂ reopenedÂ roughly 100 stores last week.
Here are some of the announcements retailers have made so far regarding store closures tied to protests:
Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired for $13.7 billion in 2017, said Sunday it was temporarily closing or adjusting store hours at several locations across the country.
Whole Foodsâ€™ stores near Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Chicago all remain closed. The companyâ€™s Bryant Park store in New York City has only been open for grocery delivery for several weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the store is ending online orders early as a result of protests, a Whole Foods spokesperson told CNBC.
The spokesperson said Whole Foods is ensuring that affected locations close well ahead of when citywide curfews begin so that store associates can get home safely. Minneapolis, Chicago and Los Angeles all announced curfews this weekend that are expected to last at least through Monday morning.
Amazon also sent a notice out to Flex drivers late Saturday advising them to stop delivering packages â€śimmediately,â€ť according to documents viewed by CNBC. The notices were sent out to drivers in almost a dozen cities, including Minneapolis, Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville and Miami.
Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman told CNBC in a statement: â€śWe are monitoring the situation closely and in a handful of cities weâ€™ve adjusted routes or scaled back typical delivery operations to ensure the safety of our teams.â€ť
News of the delivery changes was first reported byÂ Bloomberg.
Flex drivers are independent contractors of Amazon that use a mobile app to find package delivery jobs in their area. Drivers log onto the Flex app to sign up for shifts, referred to as â€śblocks,â€ť that may be for a range of Amazon services, such as Whole Foods, Prime Now and AmazonFresh orders.
In the notice sent to Flex drivers, Amazon said it closed delivery locations â€śnear the activityâ€ť and would reopen those locations when it has confirmed it is safe to do so.
â€śWe are in close contact with local officials and will continue to monitor the protests,â€ť the notice said. â€śWe are proactively monitoring every zip code in the area, and are re-routing drivers to ensure that routes you take for deliveries are safe.â€ť
Some cities also showed fewer blocks in the Flex app to accommodate citywide curfews. For example, in Miami, drivers were able to select blocks up until 7:30 p.m., ahead of the cityâ€™s 8 p.m. curfew, according to a separate document viewed by CNBC.Â Â
Target announced late Saturday that itâ€™s temporarily closing 175 stores across the country as a result of ongoing protests.
The company, which operates 1,900 stores across the U.S., closed 71 stores in Minnesota and at least a dozen stores in California and New York. Any Target employees impacted by the store closures will be paid for up to 14 days of scheduled hours, including Covid-19 premium pay, the company said.
Employees can also work at other nearby Target locations that remain open. While many stores closed during the coronavirus outbreak, Target and other retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods kept their stores open.
Some businesses have been looted and vandalized in cities across the U.S. as protests turned violent, including a Target stores in Minneapolis and Oakland.
Target CEO Brian CornellÂ said in a postÂ on Sunday that the company was supporting the more than 200 team members â€śdisplacedâ€ť by the closure at its Lake Street store in Minneapolis,â€ť as well as at other stores â€śthat are damaged or at risk.â€ťÂ
â€śAs a Target team, weâ€™ve huddled, weâ€™ve consoled, weâ€™ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to whatâ€™s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing,â€ť Cornell said. â€śAnd as a team weâ€™ve vowed to face pain with purpose.â€ť
Apple announced that it would not open many of its stores on Sunday due to the protests.
â€śWith the health and safety of our teams in mind, weâ€™ve made the decision to keep a number of our stores in the US closed on Sunday,â€ť the company said in a statement.Â
Apple has 271 stores in the U.S. and about half of those are already closed because of the pandemic. Last week, the companyÂ reopenedÂ about 100 stores in nearly 20 states across the U.S.
Several Apple stores were vandalized and looted amid protests across the country, including in Minneapolis, Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
WalmartÂ said Sunday evening it would close hundreds of stores nationwide, the company confirmed to CNBC.
Some Walmart stores were physically damaged or looted amid protests that turned violent. On Friday, the company closed stores in Minneapolis and Atlanta. As the protests continued throughout the weekend, Walmart later moved to close stores at locations across the country, a Walmart spokesperson said.
The company is monitoring information from law enforcement, social media activity and the situation at individual stores to determine store closures, the spokesperson said. Walmart is working to determine how to support employees displaced by store closures, they added.
â€śWe want to make sure all [our employees] are being taken care of,â€ť the spokesperson said. â€śThatâ€™s been the hour by hour leading factor driving these decisions and as the situation unfolds, weâ€™ll figure out how else to take care of them.â€ť
Walmart plans to reopen stores that were shuttered on Monday, as long as there is no physical damage at those locations and itâ€™s determined that the surrounding area is safe, the company said. It will continue to watch the situation closely, Walmart added.
Like Target, Walmart kept its stores open during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the companyÂ reduced store hoursÂ to allow more cleaning and restocking, among other measures.
NikeÂ is closing some of its U.S. stores that were impacted by the protests, the company confirmed to CNBC.
â€śNike supports free and peaceful protests and we do not condone violence,â€ť Nike said in a statement. â€śWe are closely following the protests occurring across the country.â€ťÂ
Itâ€™s unclear how many locations were closed and when Nike will reopen those stores. Looters broke into a Nike store in Manhattan during protests on Saturday evening.
Adidas is temporarily closing all of its U.S. stores, after at least one location was hit by looters Saturday evening, according toÂ The Wall Street Journal.Â
Representatives from Adidas werenâ€™t immediately available for comment.
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