The riots flooding the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd have continued into this week. With no signs of stopping, they appear to be forcing some big-ticket shops into making changes.
Massive demonstrations have broken out across several states in the past week. Given the track record of these protests turning violent, the retail giant is working to minimize casualties.
New Protocols for Gun Shoppers
Walmart stores would no longer offer guns on the shopping floor pending when the demonstrations stop. Walmart’s biggest retail location, for instance, has implemented the move. The store, which is located in Bentonville, Arkansas, confirmed to the news source that it would place firearms in a separate room.
Business Insider confirmed that no Walmart location in the urban centers that have been looted sells firearms. However, it’s best not to take a risk, given that protests can brew up rather quickly.
A representative from Walmart said to the news source:
“As a responsible seller of hunting and sporting firearms, we have temporarily removed firearms and ammunition from the sales floor in some stores out of an abundance of caution.”
The representative didn’t mention how long the changes will last. However, they’re expected to remain as long as the protests continue.
Walmart’s move is coming after several gun stores reported break-ins and lootings amid the protests. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said that over six individuals broke into Chuck’s Firearms Inc., a gun store in Atlanta.
Jim Hinsdale, the store’s owner, confirmed the theft of over 42 guns on Saturday morning.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that looters had broken into Richardson Tactical, a gun store in Hayward, California and stole 29 firearms. The robbery reportedly happened as protests picked up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Retail Companies Count Their Losses as Protests Rage On
Walmart’s decision is also coming in the wake of several casualties from the protests already. According to a CNBC report from last week, the firm announced that it would close all of its stores across Minnesota and Atlanta – two states where demonstrations have been most concentrated.
The firm added that it planned to return to full capacity by June 8. It’s still unclear whether it has been able to.
Walmart isn’t the only retailer to suffer losses due to the protests. Several stores were left defenseless as looters broke their windows and forcibly entered their stores. In Manhattan, high-end shopping centers like Coach and Chanel were looted.
The thieves also attacked the Manhattan store of French beauty and lifestyle chain Sephora, breaking its windows. Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus also reported attacks at their locations in Seattle and Dallas, respectively.
However, retail giant Target appeared to have gotten the brunt of the losses. NPR reported that the company has either closed or adjusted the operating hours for over 200 stores.