Walmart to close auto centers, change hours and limit purchases of certain items

To host an hour-long senior shopping hour on Tuesdays

The following statement was issued Wednesday by Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S:

Walmart is planning to close its auto centers and enforce limits on purchases of milk, eggs, and certain baby products in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company said Wednesday.

The purchase limits will apply to paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, baby formula, and baby food, the company said.

“We know communities are counting on us more than ever and we are determined to serve the broadest number of customers and ensure they have access to the key items they are looking for,” Dacona Smith, Walmart US chief operating officer, wrote in a memo posted to the company’s website.

The company said it would refocus employees affected by the auto center closures on stocking and cleaning the rest of the stores.

Walmart also announced that it’s shifting all stores to a schedule of 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. — except for stores that open later than 7 a.m. — and introducing a new “senior shopping event.”

“We know our older customers could be more vulnerable to the coronavirus and to better support them, Walmart is offering special shopping hours,” Smith said. “From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older.”

The event will start one hour before the store opens, which will be 6 a.m. for many locations. Pharmacies and vision centers will be open during the special shopping hour.

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