March 22, 2020 / 11:54 PM / in 12 days

Brazil's Via Varejo closes all 1,000-plus stores nationwide due to coronavirus

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian retailer Via Vaerjo (VVAR3.SA)> is temporarily closing all its stores nationwide to help curb the spread of coronavirus, joining the growing list of the country’s largest retailers to do so.

In a securities filing late on Saturday, the company said its white goods chains Casa Bahia and Ponte Frio will close their 845 and 216 stores, respectively, with immediate effect, although online operations will continue.

In recent days, Riachuelo, Marisa Lojas (AMAR3.SA) and Lojas Renner (LREN3.SA) have all announced the indefinite closure of all stores, meaning thousands of bricks and mortar shops of many of Brazil’s most recognizable chains now have their shutters up.

As of Saturday, at least 18 people had died from the virus in Brazil, according to the health ministry, and more than 1,000 people are infected across the country.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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