Spring is traditionally a season for shopping. It’s filled with clearance events and heavy foot traffic for retailers. But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, and shopping is no exception.
Many stores have since closed their doors to shoppers, with only grocery stores and pharmacies open as essential businesses in some states. Tap or click to see the safest way to shop for groceries during the outbreak.
But not every store is closed and some businesses are still running. And they have some major payment and pickup changes. We’ll show you what’s new and what you need to do to shop safely.
Some stores are choosing to keep the lights on
Not all businesses are willing to take the hit in spite of the dangerous coronavirus pandemic currently raging around the planet. Thanks to recent advances in online delivery and pickup, some storefronts are choosing to keep their doors open with new safety limitations.
Here are the retailers that are open and closed during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the stores operating with limited hours and changes to their customer experience.
Aldi: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Hours subject to change for restocking.
Albertsons: Stores open one hour later and close one hour earlier than ordinary operating hours. Will vary depending on location.
Dollar General: All stores have exclusive first hour to senior shoppers; closes an hour earlier than normal hours.
Fry’s Food Stores: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Kroger: Hours vary by location.
Publix: All stores will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and pharmacy hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Regular hours Sunday. Senior shopping starts from 7 a.m to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for both market and pharmacy.
Ralphs: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Smith’s Food & Drug: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Safeway: Stores are opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier for restocks. Will vary depending on location.
Sprouts Farmers Market: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Stater Bros. Markets: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Target: Stores open until 9 p.m. maximum starting March 18.
Trader Joe’s: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Vallarta Supermarkets: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for general public. All locations open an hour early for senior shoppers, pregnant women and those with disabilities.
Walmart: 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later ordinarily will continue to keep their opening times.
Whole Foods Market: Stores will close two hours early but will remain open for curbside order pickup. Seniors can get in an hour before opening time. Hours depend on location
Stores with reduced hours
Barnes & Noble: Hours vary by location, but most closing early. Chairs and seating have been removed from both the store and cafe.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Stores that sell essential items to remain open. 800 stores closing temporarily.
Big Lots: Senior shopping hour before regular store hours.
CVS: Regular hours.
Dollar General: Senior shopping hour before normal opening. Closing one hour earlier. Time varies by location.
Home Depot: Stores now close at 6 p.m. daily.
Lowe’s: Closing at 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 7:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Michaels: Hours vary by location.
Office Depot: Stores open, hours unchanged.
Ross: Some stores closed. Hours vary by location.
Staples: Hours reduced to 9. a.m. to 6 p.m.
Walgreens: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Drive-thru pharmacy to remain open 24/7 at select locations.
Two major stores, Best Buy and GameStop, will be closed to foot traffic, but remain open for curbside pickup. If you’re looking to buy a game or electronic device, you can visit each retailers’ respective website and select “In-store” pickup as your shipping option when you check out.
Walmart and Target are also encouraging curbside pickup and online ordering options, and will offer these services at select stores when you check out online.
Some retailers, in light of closures, are also extending their return periods. Apple is offering to extend return periods by 14 days once stores reopen, regardless of what time that happens.
Sephora is offering a similar deal, but extends returns to 30 days after stores reopen.
If you’re curious which retailers are extending returns, or if you’re curious about an item you recently bought, look on that retailer’s website for a Contact Us link and send them an email inquiry. Odds are, if the store is closed, they will honor returns to some extent.
You may have to wait until stores reopen to do so, if online returns aren’t offered.
Amazon misses the target, but won’t stay down for long.
Many Amazon shoppers are noticing a significant delay in shipments for orders — including Prime customers. This comes as the company makes adjustments to its logistics procedures. Amazon emphasizes this is a temporary issue.
The company plans on hiring an additional 100,000 warehouse workers to handle the surge. Just don’t expect to have any non-essential items ship any faster until demand dies down.
In the meantime, you can track Amazon supplies online. Just tap or click here for the useful tool.
As shopping evolves to cope with the virus, so will shoppers. Perhaps, in the near future when all this is over, we may even like online pickups enough to keep doing it. Especially during future cold and flu seasons. It’s just hygienic.