CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Friday (March 20) that he’s worried one of the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic will be that there will be only three retailers left in the U.S., according to a report by CNBC.
“If we come out of this sooner, then other, small businesses can open. If we come out of this later, there are going to be three retailers in this country,” the “Mad Money” host said. “There’s going to be Amazon. There’s going to be Walmart. And there’s going to be Costco.”
He was speaking on “Squawk on the Street,” and added that the three retailer scenario “is something the government cannot afford to have happen.”
Cramer asked what would realistically happen, saying “If it comes out that those are the three, can you imagine what it means for this country to just have three retailers?”
Those big box retail stores are thriving in the current environment, due to customers frantically buying supplies in case of coronavirus shelter-in-place orders.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 30 percent, but Walmart closed Wednesday (March 18) to $128 a share, an all-time high.
Walmart said it was going to pay $550 million in bonuses to its hourly employees. Dan Bartlett, Walmart’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, said employees were performing “Herculean efforts,” and that the company wanted to reward them during an uncertain time.
“It’s almost like a mini stimulus package for Walmart associates,” he said.
Walmart said it was going to hire 150,000 new workers through May to keep up with demand as the coronavirus crisis continues.
Costco said that some stores have been busier than even during the holiday rush, and Amazon said it was going to hire 100,000 more workers and raise pay by $2.
Shares in both companies were faring much better than the rest of the market as a whole.