Publix Makes Major Hour Change to Disinfect and Restock Amid Coronavirus Rushes

On Friday, the supermarket chain Publix announced that it was making a major change to its hours amid the coronavirus spread. The stores will now close at 8 p.m. until further notice, including the pharmacies within. This will give employees time to clean and restock after the outbreak caused a surge in shopping.

Supermarkets all over the country have been picked clean in recent weeks, with many non-parishable items selling out and becoming hard to find. Publix Super Markets, Inc. is taking a decisive step to recover, as it announced on its official Twitter account on Friday.

To better serve our customers, give our store teams time to conduct additional preventive sanitation and restock product on our shelves, beginning Saturday, March 14 we will adjust store and pharmacy hours company wide to close at 8 p.m. until further notice," the post read.

The news got generally positive reactions online, where customers wrote that they understood and thought this was a practical move. Some noted that they hoped it would be good for the employees as well, since so many have been exhausted by the recent shopping surge. On top of that, service workers everywhere are living with the fear that their hours may soon be cut, or worse.

Publix has its headquarters in Florida, near Tampa Bay. It has locations all over the southeast, with many clustered in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. They stretch as far north as Richmond, Virginia and as far west as Alabama.

Publix is not the only supermarket chain recovering from the coronavirus shopping surge, however. According to a report by The News Observer, Harris Teeter stores will be closing early as well. Harris Teeter supermarkets are based in North Carolina, and are spread throughout Virginia and Maryland as well.

Starting this weekend, Harris Teeter stores will close at 9 p.m., and open at their regularly scheduled time in the morning. A company spokesperson gave a statement on the new policy.

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"Harris Teeter is committed to providing an Incredible Place to Work and Shop. To focus on cleaning, replenishment, and the well-being of our valued associates, we will close our stores at 9 p.m., effective Sunday March 15, until further notice," it read.

This is just one of the ways the retail industry has been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. Reports of "panic-buying" and "hoarding" of sanitary supplies have run rampant, with The Daily Beast reporting that there is no practical or logical reason to buy up months' worth of toilet paper, for example. Experts are urging people to buy these commodities in reasonable amounts.