A growing number of retail stores are closing amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.
Retail stores belonging to Apple outside of Greater China are closed for two weeks until March 27 as the tech giant aims to help prevent further spreads of the virus.
Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids, Hollister Co., and Gilly Hicks are closing all stores temporarily until further notice. Urban Outfitters have closed all of their stores, and Nike has closed stores in the United States. Primark has closed some stores in Europe and has not ruled out closing stores in the UK.
In some parts of Europe, very few stores are open, especially in locked-down areas such as in Italy. Other stores around the world have introduced measures such as flexible returns, or only allowing limited numbers of customers in stores at a time.
In the UK, government advice suggests that stores can remain open, however, many companies are taking extra precautions by closing stores, and the number of companies doing this is expected to grow over the coming days and weeks.
Supermarkets in the UK have remained open, but many have been left with empty shelves as shoppers ‘panic buy’ amid the virus outbreak. Supermarkets including Sainsbury’s have been urging shoppers to think before they buy and have introduced restrictions on the purchase of some products, including hand gels.