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Walmart further adjusts store hours in effort to keep shelves stocked

H-E-B and Kroger also operating under new hours

Texas grocery store chain H-E-B has promised customers they will replenish their shelves after customers cleared them amid fear of the coronavirus outbreak.
Texas grocery store chain H-E-B has promised customers they will replenish their shelves after customers cleared them amid fear of the coronavirus outbreak. (KPRC 2)

Walmart has made more changes to the operating hours of its stores in an effort to keep shelves stocked.

Initially, the company announced that all Walmart stores will operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice, but according to a statement from Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith, the company will be slashing its hours even more.

Starting Thursday, stores will operate from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Stores that open later than 7 will open at their regular time, Smith said.

This will help “make it easier for associates to stock and perform enhanced cleaning and sanitizing,” the statement said. “While the store hours change for customers, our associates will continue to have access to their regular scheduled shifts and full hours.”

The company will also be offering a special shopping hour every Tuesday from March 24 through April 28 for customers 60 and older. The hour will be on Tuesdays and will start one hour before stores open. Pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.

Earlier this week, H-E-B and Kroger both announced they were adjusting their in-store hours because of the coronavirus.

H-E-B announced that it will temporarily reduce hours of operation and is adjusting services.

“To prepare our stores to better serve our customers, all H-E-B, Joe V’s Smart Shop, Mi Tienda and Central Market stores in the Houston area will shift to modified hours, closing at 8 p.m. today," the retail change announced. "Starting tomorrow, March 14 we will shift to modified hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until further notice.”

The change is intended to help keep shelves stocked and ensure customers can secure the products they need.

Meanwhile, all Kroger’s in Houston will temporarily be opening at 7 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

Kroger’s CEO Rodney McMullen outlined a variety of steps his stores were taking:

• Limit the number of cold, flu and sanitary products per order.

• Clean commonly used areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products.

• Add extra hand sanitizer at cashier stations, food service counters, and all Pharmacy, The Little Clinic and Starbucks locations.

• Wipe down shopping carts, baskets and equipment.