Updated Mar 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

Major retailers close doors in U.S. in response to coronavirus outbreak

Apple's flagship store in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Major retailers are closing their doors or reducing their open hours across the United States in an effort to blunt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: While the closures may help slow the outbreak, they will also hamper the already-stressed retail industry, according to CNBC.

Driving the news: Nordstrom, Macy's, Bath and Body Works and Sephora are the latest stores to close for several weeks and service customers online only.

  • Foot Locker's North America stores will remain closed through March 31.
  • Nike said Sunday that all of its stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand will close from Monday through March 27, CNBC reports. A spokesperson said all workers will still be paid while the stores are closed.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch will close all of its stores outside of the Asia-Pacific region between March 15 and March 28. It has about 850 stores worldwide, per CNBC.
  • Apple on Tuesday announced it will close all of its retail stores worldwide indefinitely, except in China. CEO Tim Cook said hourly workers will continue to receive pay while stores are closed.
  • Urban Outfitters, which operates 600 stores under various brands, will close temporarily until at least March 28 but continue to pay workers.
  • Patagonia closed all of its stores, offices and other operations on March 13. Rose Marcario, the company's CEO and president, said employees will receive their regular pay during the closure.
  • Walmart is closing its 24-hour locations overnight to restock products and clean the stores. Stores that were open 24 hours will now operate from 6am to 11pm, according to USA Today.

By the numbers: The U.S. had 5,700 cases of the virus and 94 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Go deeper

Nordstrom and Foot Locker close North America stores over coronavirus

A Nordstrom store in Manhattan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nordstrom and Foot Locker announced the temporary closure of their stores, effective Tuesday, in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Details: Nordstrom said in a statement all of its U.S. and Canada stores would remain closed for two weeks and it withdrew its fiscal 2020 forecast that it issued on March 3 because it said it "did not include the impact of COVID-19." Foot Locker's North America stores will remain closed through March 31.

Apple is closing non-China stores amid coronavirus spread

Photo: Ding Junhao/VCG via Getty Images

Apple announced it will close all its retail stores worldwide except for greater China until March 27 amid the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, and will donate $15 million to help mitigate its impact.

Why it matters: Apple's stores are a significant revenue generator for the company, but the flip-side of the company's efforts to make them community gathering spots is that they're now posing a risk as authorities warn against crowd gatherings.

What Americans are buying online during the coronavirus outbreak

Data: Adobe; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's no shock that online shopping has surged, especially for groceries, but new data from Adobe offers some valuable breakdowns of exactly where consumer dollars are going.

Why it matters: Some buying patterns are likely temporary, but many people may permanently expand what they buy online, even once physical stores reopen.