Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores

Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores
Target is temporarily closing dozens of its stores across the country amid protests over the death of George Floyd. (Source: KATU/CNN)

(AP/CNN) – U.S. retailers large and small have closed some of their stores across the country because of disruptions caused by the widespread street protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart all said Sunday that they had temporarily closed some locations for safety reasons. In some places, their stores have been burned, broken into or looted as protests turned violent.

Included Target stores in Minnesota, California and New York. You can view the full list of store closures on Target’s website. Some stores had adjusted hours.

Most of the stores were scheduled to reopen Sunday or Monday, but six have been closed for an extended period. Some of the worst damage was seen at its Lake Street store near where Floyd was killed. Footage showed people walking away with merchandise as smoke filled the store.

The company said Sunday it was boarding up the store. It hopes to reopen the store by the end of this year.

Target said workers impacted by the closures will still be paid “for up to 14 days of scheduled hours during store closures, including COVID-19 premium pay. They will also be able to work at other nearby Target locations.”

In a statement released Saturday, the Minneapolis-based company said its focus is on employee safety and “helping our community heal.” It will provide essentials to people living in areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul where the protests caused the most damage.

Amazon said Sunday that it has adjusted its routes and suspended deliveries to keep its drivers safe in some cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Minneapolis. A spokeswoman, Kelly Cheeseman, said Amazon is also abiding by local curfews that have required people to remain off streets after a specified hour at night.

Walmart said it closed hundreds of stores late Sunday afternoon to protect employees and customers. Scott Pope, a spokesman, said several dozen stores were closed all day Sunday because of damage from protests. He said he didn’t know when those stores would be able to reopen.

CVS didn’t say how many stores it closed, but it said the shuttered locations are in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia. A spokeswoman for the company said pharmacies at closed stores will reroute customers to a nearby CVS so they can get prescriptions filled.

“We are continually monitoring protests as they occur in the communities we serve and will close stores, if needed, to help ensure the safety of employees and customers,” CVS said in a statement.

Small businesses, too, are surveying the damage or trying to determine how to operate amid the chaos. Ammar Aref, who owns a corner grocery store in Minneapolis blocks from where Floyd was killed, said he has stayed opened every day, but he doesn’t know how much stock to order and his employees don’t want to come to work. He boards up his windows every night.

Apple said it decided to keep some of its stores closed Sunday. It didn’t say how many were affected.

Floyd, who was black, died while being arrested by Minneapolis police for suspicion of passing a counterfeit bill on May 25. Cellphone video showed that a white officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes while Floyd, who was handcuffed, pleaded for air and eventually stopped moving. Chauvin now faces murder and manslaughter charges.

The three other officers who took part in the arrest were fired but haven’t been charged.

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