Nike, Apple close US stores as retail chains weigh coronavirus options

Some retailers reduce hours and services for next few weeks.

March 15, 2020, 10:15 AM

The coronavirus outbreak has begun to affect big retail stores in the country, as two major companies announced this weekend they will close all of their U.S. storefronts for the rest of the month.

Nike announced Saturday it will shut down all of its stores in the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand starting Monday and will keep them closed until March 27. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement the company is taking lessons from how it handled the outbreak in China, where the tech company shut down stores in February for a month, and will apply the same procedure for all stores outside China until March 27.

"One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’ transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance," Cook said in a statement.

What to know about Coronavirus:

Both Nike and Apple said customers can still purchase products and services on their respective websites during the two-week closures.

PHOTO: A tourist wears a protective mask as she carries her suitcases past a closed Nike store at Las Ramblas, March 15, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain.
A tourist wears a protective mask as she carries her suitcases past a closed Nike store at Las Ramblas, March 15, 2020, in Barcelona, Spain.
David Ramos/Getty Images

So far, these are the two major retailers to shut down their brick and mortar operations in the U.S. during the outbreak. Several companies have announced plans to reduce their store hours and beef up their sanitizing efforts.

Walmart said starting Sunday, all of its stores would operate with reduced hours, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., until further notice.

PHOTO: The facade of a closed downtown Brooklyn Apple store in viewed, March 14, 2020, in New York, after the tech giant announced it is closing all its stores outside of China for two weeks.
The facade of a closed downtown Brooklyn Apple store in viewed, March 14, 2020, in New York, after the tech giant announced it is closing all its stores outside of China for two weeks.
Kathy Willens/AP

"This will help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to perform cleaning and sanitizing," Dacona Smith, Walmart's executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Macy's, Target, Best Buy and Kohl's said they will keep their stores open with normal business hours for the time being, but are conducting more cleaning in their locations.

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events