Next week, Walmart U.S. plans to extend hours at about 85% of its stores, which had curtailed hours of operation at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart said more than 4,000 of its 4,700 Walmart U.S. stores will expand their closing time from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. by Aug. 17, “providing customers with greater options to shop for the food, medicine and supplies they need.” The company had cut hours at Walmart and Neighborhood Market locations to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. effective March 19 to give associates more time to clean stores, stock products and institute COVID-19 safety measures.
“As we continue reopening our operations, the health and safety of our associates, customers and communities will guide our decisions,” a Walmart spokesman said in an email on Friday. “We’ll continue assessing our remaining stores to determine the right time to expand their closing hours. With this change, we will continue the health and safety measures currently in place, such as social distancing, health screenings, plastic barriers at the registers and masks.”
Walmart said its stores will continue to reserve an exclusive shopping period every Tuesday, one hour before opening (6 a.m. to 7 a.m.), for customers age 60 and older, who are at a higher risk for the virus. Pharmacies and vision centers also will be open during that time. Most Walmart pharmacies are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Since July 20, all shoppers have been required to wear face coverings at all Walmart U.S. stores. A face mask mandate has been in effect for associates at all stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, and corporate offices since April 20.
Walmart also continues to regulate shopper traffic in stores. Since early April, the company has designated a single entrance and a single exit at each store to help maintain social distancing and reduce the incidence of customers closely passing by each other. The shopper count also has been limited to no more than five customers per each 1,000 square feet at a given time, or about 20% of a store’s capacity.
At Sam’s Club, hours of operation for all members are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Plus members can shop 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. In-club hours reserved for seniors and at-risk members run 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Most Sam’s Club pharmacies are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; they are closed on Sundays.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.