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As the private and public sectors tried to manage the outbreak of COVID-19, retailers across categories took dramatic steps to try to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Retailers made tough decisions to temporarily close either all or some of their stores beginning in March, leading to furloughed employees and strained financials. In some cases, the choice was out of retailers' hands: Malls in certain areas initially closed their doors, forcing tenants to do likewise, and local and state governments mandated some retailers, those deemed nonessential, shut down temporarily. In recent weeks that trend started to reverse as more local and state governments eased restrictions.

While not exhaustive, here is a look at which retailers are still operating with closed stores or reduced hours across North America, which are open, and how employees are impacted by these decisions. Retail Dive will regularly update this tracker with the latest news, but as the situation evolves, things change quickly.

If you have information about a specific retailer not included here, or updated information about a retailer on the list, please reach out to us at [email protected].

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Retailers opening stores

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Amazon

Updated June 30, 2020

Store impact

Amazon previously said it is reopening its Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Pop Up and Amazon Go stores. The company implemented a number of safety protocols, including social distancing and enhanced cleaning efforts. Masks will be made available for customers and plexiglass barriers are installed in certain locations. The company is also monitoring store occupancy rates and modifying store hours. On April 30, Amazon announced that Whole Foods would be asking customers to wear face masks inside its stores, and provide disposable ones if customers do not have their own. On April 29, the retailer said it would set aside the first hour of grocery pickup at Whole Foods stores nationwide for vulnerable customers.

Employee impact

The e-commerce giant on June 29 said it will pay its front-line operations team a one-time “Thank You bonus.” The company will pay $3,000 to its Delivery Service Partner owners; $1,000 to its Amazon and Whole Foods leaders; $500 to its full-time Amazon, Whole Foods and delivery employees; $250 for part-time Amazon, Whole Foods and delivery employees; and $150 for Amazon Flex drivers who worked more than 10 hours in June. In all, bonuses total more than $500 million. In a previous announcement, Amazon said store associates would be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature checks. In a blog post on May 13, Amazon stated that it was extending hourly pay increases through May 30. The company also extended double overtime pay in the U.S. and Canada. Amazon extended its leave of absence options, which included covering circumstances related to the coronavirus, such as school closures. Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive up to two weeks paid time off. Previously, an Amazon spokesperson said that associates from closed stores are being offered opportunities to support Prime Now, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. The e-commerce giant in mid-April said it would hire for an additional 75,000 roles after filling 100,000 roles that were previously announced on March 16. As of April 30, Amazon hired 175,000 workers. In an earlier announcement, the company also announced a pay increase through the end of April for employees.

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Apple

Updated June 30, 2020

Store impact

Apple will reportedly reclose 32 stores, including 14 locations in Florida, due to rising COVID-19 rates. Previously, Apple reclosed 11 locations including two in North Carolina, one in South Carolina, two in Florida and six in Arizona, according to multiple media reports. The states where the company closed stores have reported increases in coronavirus cases. The company previously said in an email to Retail Dive that it was reopening many locations in the U.S., with most stores offering curbside or storefront service only and some locations open for walk-in customers. On May 17, Apple said that nearly 100 of its stores were open globally. In stores that are open, customers are required to wear face coverings and masks will be provided if needed. Enhanced cleaning will take place throughout the day.

Employee impact

On May 17, the company said that employees will be required to wear face coverings and temperature checks will be conducted at the door. In mid-March the company said team members would be encouraged to work remotely if their job allowed and that all hourly workers would continue to receive pay “in alignment with business as usual operations.” The company also expanded leave policies.

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