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Grocery chains are cutting hours to have more time to restock shelves and sanitize stores, some other retailers are closing and one is setting aside shopping time just for seniors, all in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Two of the largest grocery store chains serving Long Island have adjusted hours of operation beginning Monday, officials said.
Most Stop & Shop stores will open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pickup services are suspended and online shoppers can expect delays because of increased demand, Stop & Shop officials said in a statement. "We, like all retailers — are experiencing some shortages; we are doing everything possible to get products to our stores and to restock the shelves in every community."
The grocery chain also announced Monday it plans to cater to the 60 and older crowd — the demographic most susceptible to serious sickness because of the coronavirus, according to health officials — by opening its stores from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. just for shoppers in that age group. The older shoppers will be asked to use a designated store entrance.
The move, which begins Thursday, is meant to protect older shoppers from bigger crowds, Stop & Shop officials said in a statement.
"We’re making the decision to offer this every day of the week to allow for community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing. They’ll also be shopping before any other customers entering. ... Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening — and do the right thing for your neighbors."
All King Kullen and Wild by Nature stores will also have adjusted hours beginning Monday, officials with the supermarket chain said. All stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.
"The change of hours will enable King Kullen to better serve its customers, provide relief to employees, give store teams time to conduct additional preventative sanitation, and allow more efficient restocking of product on shelves," said a statement from King Kullen.
Walmart also announced adjusted store hours beginning Sunday. "Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice," Dacona Smith, chief operating officer of Walmart U.S., said in a statement. "Stores currently operating under more reduced hours … will keep their current hours of operation.”
In addition, some mall retailers announced store closures.
In a news release, Urban Outfitters said “As far as we know, none of our employees have tested positive for COVID-19. In an effort to protect our communities, we have decided to close all of our stores around the globe. Stores will not reopen until at least March 28."
The chain said it will "continue to pay our store teams during this time. We will continue to operate our e-commerce and subscription businesses.”
Nike will close all U.S. stores and most locations worldwide from Monday through March 27, the company said in a statement posted on its website Sunday. "Customers can continue to shop on Nike.com and on our Nike apps," it said.
Abercrombie & Fitch also temporarily closed all stores starting Sunday, CEO Fran Horowitz said in a statement on the chain’s website.
Apple announced Friday it would close all stores outside China until March 27.
And Green Acres Mall last week said it was canceling "opportunities for guests to visit with and take photos with the Easter bunny" out of "an abundance of caution" to avoid spread of the virus. It said customers who had paid for reservations in advance will be refunded.