- Around 500 Walmart stores and Sam’s clubs were closed an estimated 9% of its stores and clubs.
- Amazon’s spokesperson Maria Boschetti said that the company was forced to temporarily close some of its facilities in eight states.
- The closure of a number of stores comes at a time when Amazon and Walmart continue with their stiff competition for retail supremacy in the US and across the world.
Extreme winter weather has led to temporary closure of stores belonging two giant companies in the US. The winter storm brought with it freezing rain and snow. Around 500 Walmart stores and Sam’s clubs were closed an estimated 9% of its stores and clubs.
The company said that its emergency operation center was closely monitoring the situation and scouting out for any possible disasters. Walmart owns and operates Sam’s clubs. Walmart is the largest private employer in the United Sates while Amazon, an online retail giant, is the second-largest.
Amazon’s spokesperson Maria Boschetti said that the company was forced to temporarily close some of its facilities in eight states. The states include Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. Boschetti said that warehouse and packaging employees in the impacted areas were told to stay at home while some deliveries halted for a few days.
The spokesperson said that the safety and health of their employees including the drivers who deliver packages and customers was a top priority. Boschetti revealed that the company was monitoring the weather situation before taking any step and added that the affected workers will be paid for their supposed shifts.
Other retailers and restaurants were also forced to close and send their employees home. Package delivery was also delayed in the affected areas. FedEX said that due to the horrible weather, operations in one of its hub in Memphis was disrupted a situation that led to package delays.
The extreme weather caused icing and power outages in the country. It is believed that the electric grid was unable to keep up with the cold weather. In Texas about 4.2 million people woke up without power. The National Weather Service said that the snow, cold temperatures and freezing rain will be experienced in many areas including Mississippi valley and New England.
The NWS issued a winter storm alert for the central and western parts of Kentucky and Tennessee. It also issued a warning for an ice storm for eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.
The closure of a number of stores comes at a time when Amazon and Walmart continue with their stiff competition for retail supremacy in the US and across the world. Walmart has continued to foster growth through the online and in-store sales. Amazon on the other hand has showed no signs of stagnating and has continued to grow through its online retailing.
The emergence of Amazon had created a lot of fear among its competitors. The rise of Amazon in the middle of last decade amid stagnant sales from its competitors sent a lot of jitters. Amazon has an added advantage through its cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Walmart tops in product sales operating margins, the company’s operating income stands at $22.5 billion while Amazon’s is at $9.4 billion. The two companies have had a significant growth in the retailing realm through a combination of online and physical store sales.