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Three Town Center retailers close for COVID-19 strategy

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Walla Walla Town Center
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Several retailers at Walla Walla Town Center have instituted two-week closures to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Bed Bath & Beyond is the latest and joins Marshalls and Ross Dress for Less in closures that run until April 3, each announced separately.

Sportsman’s Warehouse has said it is taking measures to reduce hours of operations at individual stores and limit numbers of customers inside at once to maintain proper social distancing.

A message from CEO Jon Barker posted last Thursday said the company plans to continue operating stores through the pandemic to provide access to essential items such as generators, dry goods, food preparation, cooking fuel, water filtration, pet supplies, and personal and home security products.

At neighboring Bed Bath & Beyond, President and CEO Mark Tritton said store services will continue to be offered online for the time being. Due to the closure the company is easing its policy on returns and will allow them for up to 240 days from the day of purchase.

The continuation of online operations does not exist during this time at Marshalls, which announced closure last Thursday, or Ross, whose announcement was made Friday.

Marshalls said in addition to stores, it is temporarily closing online businesses and distribution and fulfillment centers and offices. The company plans to pay its store, distribution and office associates for the two weeks of the closures.

At Ross, up to two weeks of continued pay is provided for full-time or hourly associates who can’t work because of the pandemic-related closures. The company offers a similar benefit to employees with a COVID-19 diagnosis or those caring for a family member who has been diagnosed.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.

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