Walmart, Amazon, Costco stocks are up as they implement measures to protect employees and customers from coronavirus. The measures include sanitizing efforts, temporary changes of working hours and recruiting more people to handle increasing demand.
On March 26, stocks of the US leading retailers ended the trading session in green. Specifically, Walmart Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Costco Wholesale Corporation stocks rise as the chains see the increasing demand in some categories of goods. Walmart (NASDAQ: WMT) stock has closed at $109.82, adding 0.38%. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock has jumped by 3.69% to $1955.49. Costco (NASDAQ: COST) stock has gained 4.07% and reached $292.30. But in the pre-market today, Walmart stock has lost 1.66%, while Amazon and Costco stocks are 1.81% and 0.10% down accordingly.
Walmart, Amazon, and Costco stock rise alongside with the retailers introducing new measures in their stores to prevent coronavirus spread.
Sanitary Measures and Recruitment at Walmart
Firstly, Walmart has started installing sneeze guards in checkout lines to reduce the contact between customers and cashiers and protect the latter from coronavirus. The same measures are also taken in Albertsons, Whole Foods and other grocery chains.
Secondly, Walmart has promised to do a proper cleaning and sanitization of its shopping carts after use. This will protect customers.
Besides, Walmart is helping to deal with the increasing level of unemployment. The chain has made a hiring push, taking already 25,000 new employees and giving offers to thousands more. Last week, Walmart pledged to hire 150,000 hourly workers, which increased its U.S. workforce by 10%. The move is extremely helpful as there is a growing number of unemployment claims in the U.S.
New Schedule for Costco
As for Costco which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs, the corporation has temporarily changed the opening schedule. Starting March 30, its stores will close at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and gas stations will close at 7 p.m. The weekend hours will not be affected.
In addition, Costco has introduced special hours for senior shoppers. Starting March 24 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., U.S. and Canada Costco locations temporarily implement special operating hours for members who are 60 and older.
The corporation’s spokesperson said:
“The pharmacy will also be open during this hour; however the food court will maintain its normal operating schedule. These hours apply to all locations except the Business Centers, which will remain open during regular hours.”
Costco has also adopted limiting the number of people inside at one time and reducing some services. Besides, it has strengthened sanitizing efforts.
The chain is currently focused not only on coronavirus measures but also on the further development of its business. A week ago, Costco acquired delivery outfit Innovel from Transformco, its middle mile and final mile delivery and installation business. The sum of the deal made up $1 billion. As a result of the acquisition, Costco will provide Transformco warehousing, delivery, and installation services to Sears and Kmart members. Costco will also retain over 1,500 Innovel employees on a go-forward basis.
Amazon Introduces Measures as Well
Amazon, in at least 10 stores of which workers have tested positive for COVID-19, has temporarily closed some sites, such as the Queens location. According to the company, all employees placed in quarantine will receive two weeks’ pay, and Amazon contractors who tested positive for the virus can apply for up to two weeks’ pay from a $25 million relief fund the company has established.
The company has also introduced strict measures: regularly sanitizing door handles, elevator buttons, lockers, and touch screens. Amazon is also staggering shifts and spreading out chairs in break rooms.
Amazon has an increased demand for some goods amid coronavirus spread. To handle the number of orders and deliveries, the company is ramping up hiring.
Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs, said:
“We’re boosting employment by 100,000 in the way that we do for seasonal periods like the holiday, when we need extra workers.”
In addition, Amazon has also doubled overtime pay for current hourly workers.