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Previously 24-Hour Stores Still Under Reduced Hours

By CARRI GRAHAM

Staff Writer

Many stores that previously operated 24 hours a day have shortened their hours of service amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to serve customers under that model for the foreseeable future.

Some local Kroger grocery stores previously were open around the clock, while others were simply open late. However, since the pandemic began, the stores have all shortened their hours of operation. Amy McCormick, corporate affairs manager for The Kroger Co., said the chain’s operating hours were adjusted to allow associates time to rest, clean and restock.

McCormick did not say if the retailer plans to expand its hours of operation in the future. Currently, all local Kroger locations are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Kroger has implemented numerous procedures to help reduce the spread of the illness.

“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve expanded our supply chain, enhanced cleaning procedures in our stores and hired thousands of new workers to reinforce our continued focus on associate and customer safety,” McCormick said.

Most local Kroger locations also offer grocery pick-up and delivery services that can be accessed through the store’s website — kroger.com.

Walmart, a store known for being open 24/7, announced its change in hours in March in order to allow for thorough cleaning of its stores and to give employees time to restock shelves.

The efforts were made to support associates and customers, according to an original release from the store.

In November the retailer announced its operating hours would remain from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. “until further notice.” It is unknown if or when the retailer plans to resume its original set of hours. Walmart did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

Walmart stores also offer grocery pick-up and delivery options for residents who want an alternative way to receive their groceries — the options can be found at walmart.com.

While larger department and grocery stores have reduced operating hours, some local gas stations have remained open 24 hours a day, providing residents and travelers with all-hour access to gasoline, hot food, snacks and drinks. Among these are Sheetz in St. Clairsville and Wheeling and the Pilot Travel Center near Belmont.

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