Harris Teeter and some Publix stores closing early amid COVID-19 and staffing issues

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Late-night grocery shoppers won’t have as many options as they used to.

Starting Wednesday, Harris Teeter stores will close at 9 p.m. Some North Carolina Publix stores are now closing at 9 as well.

The sign on the front door of Harris Teeter Monday caught many Harris Teeter shoppers off guard. It announces that starting Wednesday, the store will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

A spokesperson for Harris Teeter says the company is temporarily closing stores earlier to focus on cleaning, replenishment, staffing, and employee well-being.

Some late-night shoppers say the earlier closing time is an inconvenience.

“I come off work at 9 o’clock most nights and even sometimes after 10 or 11, so I’m usually out here pretty late,” said shopper Jakob Fix.

He and other shoppers say they’ll have to travel a little farther to find a store open late.

“I’ll go to Wegmans they close at midnight,” said Quinny Goudeau, adding, “Usually I love Harris Teeter — I live right across the street.”

There aren’t as many late-night options anymore. Publix also recently adjusted hours at a number of Triangle stores. Some now close at 9 p.m. as well.

Some Publix stores in the Charlotte area are closing at 9 p.m. also — McKee Farms in Matthews is among them, according to the supermarket-based Twitter account Grocerying.

At Harris Teeter, the Fresh Foods Market and Butchers and Fisherman’s Market will close at 8 p.m., and all amenities at 7. Full details can be found here.

A statement from Harris Teeter spokesperson, Danna Robinson, reads, in part, “We believe closing our stores earlier will allow our valued associates to: take their earned days off; efficiently process ExpressLane orders; manage labor in this difficult employment environment; ensure excellent closings to better prepare for the following day; and make certain that our stores are a clean, safe place to work and shop.”

“It is what it is,” said Fix. “Everyone is short-staffed everywhere, so I kind of understand where they’re coming from.”

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