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Target and other big brand retailers cut back operations in cities hit hard by George Floyd protests


The death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer in Minneapolis and the ensuing protests nationwide have had a ripple effect on major brand retailers that have had many of its stores looted.

Target, which is based in Minneapolis, had already closed a couple dozen stores in Minnesota as well as outlets in Oakland, California, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, wrote in a letter to employees:

Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart/Creative Commons.

“We are a community in pain. That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities – it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery (in Georgia)  and Breonna Taylor (in Louisville). We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts.

“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.  …As I write this, our merchant and distribution teams are preparing truckloads of first aid equipment and medicine, bottled water, baby formula, diapers and other essentials, to help ensure that no one within the areas of heaviest damage and demonstration is cut off from needed supplies.”

Cornell concluded by writing, “It’s hard to see now, but the day will come for healing – and our team will join our hearts, hands and resources in that journey.”

Amazon.com Inc. reportedly reduced deliveries and adjusted routes in cities affected by protests. The retailer told its independent delivery contractors in Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville and Seattle late Saturday to stop all deliveries immediately.

In addition, Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, changed store hours in cities hit hard by protests.

Apple stores hit by looters will remain closed. The company had closed a number of its locations on Sunday citing “the health and safety of our teams in mind.”

Apple has 271 stores nationwide. The company had just reopened about 140 that had been closed due to COVID-19 mandates by states. Items stolen from an Apple are inoperable and can actually be tracked by the company.

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