Walmart reduces hours; Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney to close temporarily; Marion Eye Center suspending appointments

Walmart reduces hours; Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney to close temporarily; Marion Eye Center suspending appointments

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Business chains with Southern Illinois locations continue to make changes to their hours in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart announced on its website that it is reducing its hours beginning Thursday. Walmart stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until further notice. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will keep their opening hours. According to a statement from Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith, the reduced hours will allow employees more time to clean the stores and stock shelves. That means workers won't lose hours, Smith said.

Walmart stores are also offering weekly time slots that are reserved only for senior shoppers. On Tuesdays from March 24 to April 28, the hour before stores open will be reserved for customers 60 and older. That includes pharmacies and vision centers.

Stores are also imposing limits on certain items including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food. Walmart is also temporarily closing its Auto Care Centers.

Marion Eye Centers released a statement Thursday saying that it was suspending appointments for all eye exams, treatments and surgeries, effective at the end of the day. It will set up injection clinics for patients who are being treated for macular degeneration, the statement said. Patients will be contacted by the Marion Eye Centers for a specific time and date. The decision was made based on a recommendation from the American Academy of Opthalmology.

Dick's Sporting Goods announced it is closing all of its retail locations until April 2. A statement from Dick's Chief Operating Officer Ed Stack says the company is still serving customers through its mobile app and website, and is offering a curbside contactless pickup service at Dick's and Golf Galaxy stores. Curbside pickup options will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

Stack said the company will provide full pay and benefits during the two-week period to all of its employees.

JCPenney also announced it was closing all stores and business offices until April 2. The announcement came in a email from Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau.

The email said the company is taking the steps based on recommendations from local, state and federal health officials, and that customers can continue to shop online at jcp.com.

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