Aldi stores across the country are shortening their hours in response to coronavirus concerns. The supermarket chain will be open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. for the foreseeable future starting on Wednesday, while some locations may have shortened hours to accommodate for extra cleaning and restocking time. Aldi CEO Jason Hart released a statement detailing the changes, via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
"In the midst of increased demand and challenging supply, we are focused on the products you are likely to want most: water, pantry staples, pre-made meals, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and more," Hart said in the release. "To support as many customers as possible, you may see quantity limits placed on select items. We appreciate your patience as some of these products may be temporarily unavailable in some of our stores."
Aldi's marks the latest major retailer to dramatically change up its routine to help slow the spread of coronavirus, which was officially declared to be a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. Amazon has suspended warehouse shipping of all non-essential items, while Walmart has also shortened its hours to give employees more time to restock and sanitize.
Amazon detailed the changes in an email to its vendors on Tuesday, which noted that "increased online shopping" has meant that "some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock."
"With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers," the email continued.
Along with these voluntary changes, several state and local governments have ordered the closing of public-facing businesses, including bars, gyms, movie theaters and restaurants. However, some eateries are allowed (and encouraged) to offer take-out, drive-thru and delivery in the meantime.
The federal government is also requesting people to take part in social distancing, which is avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and trying to stay at least six feet away from others while in public spaces. Several celebrities have gotten on board with the cause already, including Matthew McConaughey, who tweeted out a video where he encouraged everyone to help each other through this unprecedented situation.
For tips on how to to help slow the spread of coronavirus, you can check out the WHO's website here.