Target and CVS Close Stores, Amazon Adjusts Deliveries in Response to Protests

Lisa Johnston
Editor-in-Chief, CGT
Lisa Johnston CGT

Retailers including Target, Walmart and CVS temporarily shuttered stores as protests prompted by the death of George Floyd took place across the country, while Amazon adjusted its delivery routes.

As of this writing, Target had closed stores in Broadway Oakland, CA; Buckhead South Atlanta, GA; South Loop, Chicago, IL; Uptown Minneapolis, MN; and Washington Square West, Philadelphia, PA. Over the weekend, the number of temporary store closures hovered between 175 and 200.  

The company is providing displaced associates with up to 14 days of scheduled hours pay and will place them at other locations when able.

Its Lake Street location in Minneapolis, which was located near Floyd’s killing and damaged during the protests, will be rebuilt with the hopes of re-opening by the end of the year. These employees will also have access to other opportunities within the company, said CEO Brian Cornell, as well as pay and benefits for the coming weeks.

Target is headquartered in Minneapolis, and Cornell called out the pain within the community and its extension across the country. “As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose.”    

CVS has closed 60 stores across 21 states. More than 250 stores have experienced some type of damage over the last few days, a company spokesperson told RIS. The stores will be reopened as soon as repairs are completed an when it’s safe to do so. In most cases, employees are moved to stores that are open, she said.

The company is currently rerouting phone systems from closed pharmacies to nearby open locations so consumers can fill their prescriptions. 

Amazon, meanwhile, had adjusted routes or scaled back typical delivery operations in a handful of cities to ensure the safety of its teams, a company spokesperson told RIS.

Best Buy, which headquartered just outside of Minneapolis, posted a statement signed by company leadership that noted the retailer would continue to invest in its commitment to diversity and inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Every time we see this kind of tragedy it can be hard not to feel emotional, not just for the human being affected or their family, but for the colleagues we know who could be — and have been — victims of overt, hostile and even dangerous racism. If we allow ourselves, it is not hard to imagine them lying on the ground begging to breathe or bravely staring racism in the eye as they walk through a park.”

Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap Inc., posted a letter on LinkedIn expressing her horror of the events, noting that she was in Washington to represent the company with other CEOs to discuss reopening the economy with the White House. The apparel retailer is making a $250,000 donation to NAACP and Embrace Race to fight against racial injustice, and its corporate social account noted: “For 50 years, we've committed to standing with our employees, customers, and communities to be a force for good. … Our hope is that together we can make the next 50 years brighter and more inclusive for all.”

Walmart also temporarily closed stores over the weekend.

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