Retailers across several states have seen their revenues and businesses disrupted, as a wave of protests rocks the United States.
Last week, protesters gathered across Minnesota to demonstrate after the brutal killing of resident George Floyd at the hands of several police officers. The protests have now spread to several parts of the country, and several companies have had to restrict their services.
Protests Rock Amazon’s Deliveries
Earlier this week, reports confirmed that several big-box retailers had either closed their locations or adjusted working hours in states where protests have become rampant.
According to a report from Bloomberg yesterday, one of the top affected firms has been e-commerce giant Amazon, which scaled back deliveries in several cities.
As the news medium explained, Amazon told its drivers in Chicago and Los Angeles to hold off on Saturday night deliveries. The company has also reportedly scaled back its services in Portland, Oregon.
Amazon’s subsidiary, Whole Foods, has also scaled back on its operations. As CNBC reported, the company has announced that some of its locations should close earlier, thus allowing employees to get home in time and protect themselves from protesters.
A spokesperson for the company explained that they were monitoring all activity around their stores and would be adjusting closing hours based on employees’ safety requirements.
“While there has been damage to several of our stores in recent days, that is not our highest priority at this time. We are focused on the wellbeing of all of our team members and our neighbors in the communities we serve,” the spokesperson reportedly added.
Target and Walmart Follow Suit
Target, another top retail brand, has also implemented closures across 175 locations countrywide. The company, which reportedly operates up to 1,900 stores across the United States, closed down 71 sites in Minnesota and several others across New York and California.
In a blog post, the company assured employees that anyone who has been affected by the closures would receive pay for 14 days.
Target was a particular casualty of the Minnesota protests. While protesters had gathered from as early as Monday, things soon escalated as more people joined in and got involved in altercations with law enforcement agents and others.
Last weekend, reports confirmed that several stores had been vandalized, they included a target location and a Cub Foods spot at the Minnehaha Center strip mall. Several other smaller shops got looted as well.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed to Business Insider that the looters didn’t hurt any employees.
CNBC also confirmed that Walmart would be closing hundreds of its stores nationwide. As the news medium confirmed, the firm suffered several losses as various stored were damaged during the protests. The firm closed all its stores in Atlanta and Minnesota, but with the demonstrations heating up, it announced additional closures.
Like several of the other companies that are now closing up, Walmart has expressed a desire to protect its employees. A spokesperson said to CNBC:
“We want to make sure all [our employees] are being taken care of. That’s been the hour by hour leading factor driving these decisions and as the situation unfolds, we’ll figure out how else to take care of them.”
The company added that it plans to return to full capacity by Wednesday, provided that it can ascertain the stores’ safety, and the protests can abate by then.
However, it’s also worth noting that it’s unclear when the protests will stop. This is the most significant anti-racism and police brutality protest across the nation in a while. With political bias and other influences on the line, we might be seeing another round of shuttered business activity.