Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has felt the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic that has altered customers’ shopping patterns significantly. With e-commerce gaining traction in the retail sector, the giant retailer is under immense pressure to hold on to loyal customers in the pandemic’s aftermath. Faced with stiff competition from the likes of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the world’s largest retailer has decided to extend opening hours for its retail outlets.
Closing Hours Extensions
The retailer has expanded closing time from 8:30 pm to 10 pm. More than 4,000 of the 4,700 stores in the country are poised to make the changes as part of an effort of extending the shopping hours for customers.
The retailer was forced to close down and alter how its stores operate in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the United States. While the country is still struggling with the second wave of infections, Walmart has decided to embrace the situation as it looks to safeguard its core business.
The retailer says it will continue the health and safety measures put in place to combat the pandemic even as it extends stores’ closing time. Social distancing, health screening, and plastic barriers have been put in place as the retailer seeks to keep the operation running in total adherence to health protocols.
The retailer also says it will host senior shopping hours every Tuesday for customers age 60 and above. The idea is to provide an opportunity for the elderly, vulnerable to the virus, to shop while protecting themselves.
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The big-box retailer has had to make necessary adjustments to keep locations open as it faces stiff competition from the likes of Amazon. Assuring customers safety in stores is top on the agenda as the retailer looks to fuel traffic, back to its stores amid the havoc, causing a pandemic.
However, the retailer faces an uphill task to get back to its pre-coronavirus level as customers are becoming increasingly cautious amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing policies put in place and lockdown measures, also pose a significant risk to the brick and mortar chain operations.