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These Two Popular Grocery Chains Are Closing Earlier Due to the Delta Variant

They are now closing their doors at 9 p.m.

Shoppers will now have to shop at two regional grocery stores earlier than normal due to new closing times. Both Harris Teeter and Publix are now closing their doors for the night at 9 p.m. in several states.

With hurricanes, shortages, and the pandemic, this isn't the first time grocery stores have taken a step back on the road to opening "normally." But both companies have confirmed the news. Here's what you need to know. (And before your next shopping run, here is why Grocery Prices Will Continue to Spike.)

All Harris Teeter stores are operating with the new hours.

Harris Teeter
Kristi Blokhin /

Harris Teeter just implemented the change and all stores in Washington D.C, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are now open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., according to an alert on its website.

However, it did confirm that the change began Sept. 15 and will last until further notice—but that it is temporary. There's no word yet on when the hours will expand again.

"We are working quickly and information may change frequently," the alert says. "You are encouraged to visit this page often for the most updated information."

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The move will help employee's well-being during the ongoing pandemic.

Harris Teeter
DCStockPhotography /

The company told Greenville, S.C. local news station WYFF4 that the new hours will allow for "thorough cleaning, replenishment, staffing" and help employee's well-being.

"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," the company said.

Publix is also updating its hours.

publix storefront

The southern grocery chain is also closing its doors at 9 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. but only at supermarkets in one city—Charlotte, N.C. and the surrounding area. According to Grocerying on Twitter, one store in Matthews, N.C. posted a sign on its door alerting customers to the change, noting that it started Sept. 11.

The reasoning for this change is slightly different than Harris Teeter's.

publix checkout lines
Joni Hanebutt/Shutterstock

The company says that the pandemic has revealed interesting information about shopping habits and when people want to be inside the store. With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise because of the Delta variant, the Charlotte-area stores don't need to be open as late anymore.

Here's what the Publix director of communications Maria Brous told Eat This, Not That!:

"At Publix, we routinely evaluate our business operations, including business operating hours, to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of our customers. Over the course of the pandemic, customer shopping habits have evolved. Based on these evolutions, we have modified store hours at select locations to reflect our current state. If customer shopping patterns shift, we will re-evaluate our operating hours."

For more info about what's happening at your local supermarket, read these next:

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda