Target is closing some stores and adjusting hours at others as protests continue to erupt across the country following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
The retailer is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the same city where Floyd died and protests began nearly a week ago. Since then, crowds have gathered in at least 30 cities across the country to demonstrate. In many cases, anger and frustration boiled over — resulting in clashes between police and protestors, leaving buildings burned and retail stores looted or vandalized.
Target’s Lake Street store in Minneapolis was among the first to be looted and badly damaged during the protests. Two Target stores in the Atlanta, Georgia, area were also among those vandalized.
Target (TGT) CEO Brian Cornell published a note about the protests on Friday.
“We are a community in pain. That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities—it extends across America,” Cornell said. “As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose.”
Early on Sunday morning, Target said in a press release it would close more than 100 stores in light of the situation and said it anticipated most of the closures would be temporary. Later in the day, the company updated the release to say it will close just six stores until further notice and will adjust the operating hours at other stores.
“The safety of our team and guests is our top priority,” Target said in the updated release. “We recognize the important role we play in helping our communities shop for the food, medicine and other essentials they need. We apologize for the inconvenience and will reopen our stores on their normally scheduled hours as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The company said it is focused on recovery efforts at the damaged Lake Street store, and is aiming to reopen the location by late 2020.
In recent years, Target has placed a growing number of smaller stores in city centers. The company operates a total of nearly 1,900 stores in the US.
Workers affected by the store closures will be paid for up to 14 days of regularly scheduled hours during the closures, including the premium pay they would have received as part of Target’s Covid-19 policies, the company said in the release. Workers may also have the option to work at other Target locations near the closed stores.
“Our store and HR teams are working with all of our displaced team members, including the more than 200 team members from our Lake Street store in Minneapolis,” Cornell said. “We will make sure they have their full pay and benefits in the coming weeks, as well as access to other resources and opportunities within Target.”
The unrest comes as the United States continues to grapple with coronavirus, which has already taken a toll on many retailers. While Target stores remained open as the pandemic spread, the company reduced shopping hours in stores and took other steps to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Editor’s Note: This story has been changed to reflect new updates released by Target on Sunday afternoon.