Retailers Slowly Reopen After Hurricane Sandy

Walmart's Hurricane Sandy crisis center

Walmart’s Hurricane Sandy crisis center

NEW YORK-Four days after Hurricane Sandy slammed into a third of the U.S., the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern regions were still reeling from the unprecedented impact. 

While cities began to restart—limited bus, train and subway service and bridge and tunnel access commenced in New York for those who could get in today—numerous businesses and homes were damaged or destroyed and many people were still without electricity.

Online estimates of Hurricane Sandy’s economic cost run in the billions—from $20 billion to $100 billion.

Retailers with locations in the affected areas had a slew of closures, though stores were slowly being reopened. Walmart had 294 facilities closed at its peak, including stores, clubs and DCs, but only 17 remained closed this morning. As of yesterday, Target had 10 locations remain closed and almost 40 others operating off of generator power, a spokesperson told HFN, and “we are in the process of assessing the storm’s impact on our facilities. We’ve seen damage mainly to our stores’ front doors and leaks in the roofs.”

Sears had a peak of 187 locations closed for the hurricane, but that number is down to 36 stores today, a spokesman said. About another 20 locations are either operating on generator power or generators are en route, he added. In addition, more than 100 truckloads of the “most needed supplies” are headed to East Coast locations from distribution points in six areas, from DCs as far west as Memphis and Chicago, he said. “Truckloads of equipment including items like generators, some of which are being shipped directly from vendors into markets to speed the process; chainsaws shipped directly from the warehouse, wet/dry vacuums, flashlights, batteries and lanterns along with dehumidifiers, utility and sump pumps are arriving daily.”

J.C. Penney said that the majority of stores affected by the storm were now open, though “we’re still assessing any potential damage incurred at some locations,” a spokesman told HFN.

Posted in News, Retail.

Last updated: November 1, 2012