Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores

WASHINGTON (AP) – United States (US) retailers large and small have closed some of their stores across the country because of disruptions caused by the widespread street protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart all said on Sunday that they had temporarily closed or limited hours at some locations for safety reasons. In some places, their stores have been burned, broken into or looted as protests turned violent.

Amazon said on Sunday that it has adjusted its routes and suspended deliveries to keep its drivers safe in some cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Minneapolis.

A spokeswoman, Kelly Cheeseman, said Amazon is also abiding by local curfews that have required people to remain off streets after a specified hour at night.

Small businesses, too, are surveying the damage or trying to determine how to operate amid the chaos.

Ammar Aref, who owns a corner grocery store in Minneapolis blocks from where Floyd was killed, said he has stayed opened every day, but he doesn’t know how much stock to order and his employees don’t want to come to work. He boards up his windows every night.

Target, which is based in Minneapolis, said it has closed six stores for an extended period.

Some of the worst damage was seen at its Lake Street store near where Floyd was killed.

Footage showed people walking away with merchandise as smoke filled the store. The company said on Sunday it was boarding up the store.

A looter uses a claw hammer to break in to a cash register at a Target store in Minneapolis. PHOTO: AP