The coronavirus has wide-reaching effects on warehouse clubs, business travel, tourism and the economy as a whole. Here are the latest updates on its impacts around the world.
Queues were reported outside of Costco locations throughout the country during the weekend, as consumers bought large quantities of trail mix, water, paper towels and other items because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, CNBC reported. Costco’s stock was higher by over 6 percent on Monday morning, and its shares were lower by a little bit over 4 percent on Friday as a wider sell-off had taken place. Oppenheimer Analyst Rupesh Parikh said, in part, “Our observations and conversations with store employees [and] management suggest a strong pickup in traffic starting Thursday through at least Saturday.”
Meanwhile, as international companies engage in broader measures to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading, Goldman Sachs has notified its staff that non-critical international business travel should be delayed, Reuters reported, citing a memo from the company. The notice indicated that “effective immediately, all non-essential international business travel should be postponed.” Most firms have, until this point, homed in on curtailing travel to areas especially hard hit by the virus, like South Korea, Northern Italy and mainland China, instead of putting forward broader restrictions.
In other news, Paris’ Louvre museum closed its doors to tourists as well as art enthusiasts for another day as staff walked out due to health risks related to the coronavirus, Reuters reported. French legislation provides a “right to withdraw” to workers under law that President François Mitterrand introduced at the beginning of the 1980s in the event they perceive an imminent and clear risk to their safety. The globe’s most visited museum houses the Venus de Milo sculpture and the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci.
On another note, London-listed payments firm Finablr noted that its profits would be impacted by the coronavirus as well as a cyberattack that had an effect on its Travelex foreign exchange activities at the beginning of the year, the Financial Times reported. The firm also mirrored recent caution from other travel companies regarding the coronavirus’ effects. It noted that “there are current indications of sharp declines in air passenger numbers,” but it was premature to forecast the outbreak’s financial effect. The systems of Travelex were put in the crosshairs by criminals on New Year’s Eve who obstructed its systems and asked for a ransom for decryption tools.
And, JD.com, the Chinese eCommerce retail company, foresees its own logistical network as able to get it through the outbreak of the coronavirus while it forces sales growth in the double digits for the first quarter, the Financial Times reported. JD.com executives noted that its cache of products, as well as its delivery network, was bringing in new and old shoppers. Rivals have had a difficult time with the outbreak, with a lack of delivery personnel that is available at their delivery partners. JD.com, for its part, registered higher-than-expected growth in sales of 26.6 percent for its fourth quarter.