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Walmart Cutting Store Hours Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 16, 2020 at 12:29PM

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The chain isn't closing locations but it needs time to stock shelves.

Walmart (WMT 0.08%) has been one of the big winners of the coronavirus pandemic. The company has seen epic demand deliver huge sales numbers in both its brick-and-mortar and digital stores.

Now, the company plans to adjust hours at some of its stores to allow associates to restock its shelves. These changes are temporary, according to a blog post by COO Dacona Smith.

The exterior of a Walmart.

Walmart offers curbside pickup at many locations. Image source: Walmart.

What changes is Walmart making?

The retail chain plans to be open less. That includes cutting back hours at its locations that had previously been open 24/7. Smith explained the changes in a blog post:

To better support our associates and serve our customers, we will adjust our operating hours beginning Sunday, March 15. Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice. This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing. Stores currently operating under more reduced hours (for example they regularly close at 10 p.m. or open at 7 a.m.) will keep their current hours of operation.

Realistically, these are minor changes for most people given that late-night and early morning shopping was probably somewhat minimal. This does, however, show that Walmart expects to continue to need extra time to keep shelves stocked as the pandemic continues.

Walmart is winning

The retail giant did not build its supply chain for a pandemic but its ability to get goods to consumers via delivery or curbside pickup benefits the chain during this crisis. Walmart has been and continues to be a leader in making sure people have what they need to get by, and this move will help it continue doing that.

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