Retail

These retailers have the most stores in states such as Florida where coronavirus cases are spiking

Key Points
  • Instinet analyzed a dozen states that as of last Friday had reported record highs in new Covid-19 cases: Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma. 
  • It found the retailers with the greatest exposure to these 12 states to be the off-price chain Ross Stores, Costco and O'Reilly Auto Parts. 
A shopper shops in a Ross store.
Francis Dean | Corbis | Getty Images

As coronavirus cases surge in a number of hot spots across the country, some retailers may be more at risk than others of having to shut their stores down again. 

The higher rates of Covid-19 have tended to follow decisions by state and local governments to open up restaurants, nonessential retailers and personal care services. While no state has rolled back phases of reopening yet, some states have slowed the pace. 

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday at a congressional hearing that he doesn't think states will need to return to lockdown, but they may consider returning to a prior phase of reopening as cases increase. 

The investment firm Instinet analyzed a dozen states that as of last Friday had reported record highs in new Covid-19 cases: Florida, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Arizona, California, Tennessee and Oklahoma. In many of these states, cases have only grown since that time. Both Florida and California reported record one-day increases again Wednesday. 

The chart above takes select retailers and looks at the percentage of their total U.S. stores that are based in those 12 states. The information for these calculations was drawn from the companies' annual reports. Instinet found the retailers with the greatest exposure are the off-price chain Ross Stores, Costco and O'Reilly Auto Parts. Others on the list include AutoZoneUlta Beauty, TJ Maxx owner TJX and Burlington

Instinet analyst Michael Baker said in a note to clients Wednesday that another round of closures would hurt so-called discretionary or apparel retailers more than locations such as Walmart and Target that have been deemed essential during the pandemic. 

"To the extent that means there is a potential that stores will need to close again, as Apple recently announced, this trend could impact our back-half sales estimates," he said. 

Apple announced last week that it planned to shut 11 stores in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona, for a second time, as Covid-19 cases were spiking in those areas. On Wednesday it said it would close seven stores in Houston

Apple's decision was one that was made at the corporate level, rather than through a government mandate. Other companies could make similar decisions. 

Levi Strauss & Co. Chief Executive Chip Bergh joined CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday morning to say the denim maker might have to close another round of stores, too. 

"We are watching it every single day in a couple of states," Bergh said. "There is a possibility we may have to close more doors." 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meantime, said Wednesday that travelers arriving in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from regions with spiking Covid-19 infection rates will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. 

The Dow plunged, as traders grew more concerned about the economy reopening and recovering. 

— CNBC's Crystal Mercedes contributed to this data visualization. 

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