IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, said it will close down all its U.S. stores amid the worldwide virus pandemic.
Ingka Group, the owner of most IKEA stores, announced it will also shutter stores in Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland. Stores in Germany and other European countries have been closed.
“This decision was taken by IKEA leadership as a precautionary measure due to the rapidly evolving” situation surrounding the CCP coronavirus, the Swedish company said in a statement announcing the closure of all stores in the United States.
Online shopping will be offered in the interim, IKEA said.
“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. This is the most responsible way IKEA can continue to care for our co-workers and our customers in a manner that is healthy and safe,” said Javier Quiñones, IKEA Retail U.S. President, in a statement on Wednesday. “We are taking our role in containing this epidemic seriously, and we recognize the positive impact our actions could have on making life better for the millions of people who have been impacted by this crisis.”
Like other large chains, IKEA said it would implement more measures to make sure workplaces are cleaned and sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
“IKEA will continue to support co-workers through its comprehensive benefits package and paid leave policy. All non-essential co-worker travel and large group meetings have been canceled. IKEA will assess all measures on a regular base,” the chain said.
It came after President Donald Trump earlier this week said that Americans should avoid groups of 10 or more people, while numerous non-essential businesses and schools have been shuttered across a number of states. Concerts, sporting events, worship services, and more have been closed in the wake of the outbreak.
IKEA wrote, “Globally, to date, IKEA has announced temporary closures in heavily impacted countries including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland. With the situation across China now slowly improving, IKEA stores in China are being reopened gradually.”
Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Dollar General, and other stories that sell groceries have shorted their closing times and have allowed for seniors to purchase items during the first hour after opening times. Meanwhile, Amazon, the largest online retailer, said it would delay or suspend the sale and delivery for non-essential items from third-party vendors. It also announced that some deliveries will be slower than usual amid a spike in demand.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.