A South Jersey Walmart store is the fourth New Jersey store to be closed as part of the retail giant’s ongoing effort to make stores safe for customers and shoppers during the pandemic.
As with the earlier closures in Linden, Kearny and Manville, Walmart said the closure of the store in the Williamstown section of Monroe is not connected to any specific outbreak of COVID-19 but rather a proactive move as the number of COVID-19 cases rise.
Walmart is also closing its store on South Christopher Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia.
Both the Williamstown and Philly stores closed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday and are rescheduled to open at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Walmart spokeswoman Ashley Nolan said that its stores reflect the communities where they are located. Sixty stores were closed in December nationwide including 60 in New Jersey as the fast-spreading omicron variant of COVID-19 took hold.
“The temporary closure initiative is something Walmart has been doing since shortly after the pandemic’s beginning in 2020. This is a proactive measure, based on market-specific data, and is intended to present a safe in-store environment for our associates and customers,” spokeswoman Ashley Nolan told New Jersey 101.5.
Nolan would not disclose what metrics the company monitors but said that staffing issues are not part of the equation.
What will be the next store to close?
Nolan was not aware of any additional closings for New Jersey.
The state COVID-19 dashboard showed over 850 new cases in Gloucester County as of Tuesday.
Other retailers do not appear to be doing the same thing.
“Target does not currently have any stores closed due to COVID,” spokeswoman Kayla Castañeda told New Jersey 101.5.
Walmart has 62 locations in New Jersey.
LOOK: Food history from the year you were born
Omicron impact on COVID cases in NJ
As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches its third calendar year in New Jersey, some things have stayed true (hand-washing, advice to vaccinate) while others have evolved along with the latest variant (less monoclonal antibody treatments, new at-home anti-viral pills).
Counting down New Jersey’s top 15 weather stories of 2021