1. Home
  2. Retail
  3. news
  4. The Drive-Thru: Coronavirus changes retailers' cleaning and sick-leave policies

The Drive-Thru: Coronavirus changes retailers' cleaning and sick-leave policies

Shoshy Ciment   

The Drive-Thru: Coronavirus changes retailers' cleaning and sick-leave policies
kfc thailand

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

Kate visited a KFC in Thailand.


Junior Reporter Shoshy Ciment here, writing to you from my living room couch as I work from home for the foreseeable future. Like many other workplaces around the world, my office has made the move to close its doors for the time being.

It's a pretty crazy time to be covering the news, but the news never sleeps, even in the wake of a pandemic. Amid the chaos, the retail desk at BI is working tirelessly to keep you up to date on all the coronavirus and retail news you need to know about.

So if you're reading from an office, couch, bed, or closet, we've got you covered with the latest news in restaurants and retail. This week on The Drive-Thru, we've got everything from retailers' new sick-leave policies to Costco selling Birkenstocks. So subscribe here to stay on top of it all!

For this week, here's what you need to know:

Retailers are changing their benefits policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak

employee walmart

Jim Anderson/AP Photos

Retailers are changing their benefits policies.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced many retailers to come to terms with their absence and leave policies. Companies like Walmart, Starbucks, and Trader Joe's have all changed their employee benefits policies in response to the pandemic.

Some companies like Target and Amazon are offering extending periods of sick leave for employees who have contracted the coronavirus or who are in mandatory quarantine.

After a store employee in Kentucky tested positive for the virus, Walmart announced in a March 10 email to all US employees that workers who contract the coronavirus will now receive up to two weeks of sick pay.

Target also recently posted a memo to its internal communications website that detailed an intricate process for cleaning everything from ATMs and checkout lanes to handcuffs and Bullseye, the Target mascot. And Walmart may cut hours at stores open overnight amid the coronavirus outbreak to allow for extra cleaning, the company said Tuesday in a memo.

Read more for a full list of companies changing their benefits policies amid the coronavirus.

As if malls didn't have it bad enough ...

Mass mall 4

Courtesy of Marissa Tannis

As people start to cloister themselves away from human contact to avoid the coronavirus, stores and malls across the globe are becoming eerily deserted.

Bethany collected images of malls across the world that have turned into ghost towns, from Washington State to the Philippines and Italy. Let's just say these photos give a whole new meaning to the term retail apocalypse.

See the eerie photos in the story, here.

What does it mean? People are staying away from, well, people. With so much fear about getting sick and spreading germs, shopping malls are getting hit hard with even less foot traffic than usual.

Costco sells Birkenstocks for as low as one-third the normal price

A Birkenstock shoe shop is pictured in Dortmund

Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Costco sells Birkenstocks in some stores.

In a welcome reprieve from coronavirus-related stores, Irene wrote about how you can find Birkenstocks at Costco for as little as one-third of the retail price at some stores.

Turns out that the sandal maker said it doesn't sell to Costco and that the warehouse store isn't authorized to sell its merchandise.

"While we can't comment on whether the product is real or counterfeit, be assured we take any unauthorized selling very seriously and all steps are in place to control our distribution and take legal action if necessary to protect our brand," Birkenstock Americas CEO David Kahan told Business Insider in an email.

A Costco representative did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

Taste test of the week: KFC in Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand

kfc double down korea

Kate Taylor/Business Insider

The KFC Double Down in South Korea.

Reporting from across the globe, Kate set out to see what items KFC offers in Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam that you can't find in the US.

Overall, she was unimpressed by the menu items in Vietnam and Thailand, though South Korea was an absolute stand-out with its menu that included chicken gizzards and beer.

By the end of her two weeks in South Korea, Kate said she had visited KFC three times.

"And, it was incredible every time," she wrote.

Read the full taste test, here.

Everything else you need to know:

NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Harley-Davidson

Popular Right Now