Over 200 7-Eleven stores were closed as of Thursday afternoon local time

Over 200 7-Eleven stores were closed as of Thursday afternoon local time

US convenience retailer 7-Eleven has confirmed hundreds of its stores remain closed after Hurricane Sandy caused havoc in the eastern part of the country.

7-Eleven had "close to" 280 outlets closed as of 1600 ET yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson told just-food.

The retailer, the US arm of Japan's Seven & I Holdings, is one of a number of retailers affected by the storm, which reached the country on Monday evening local time.

Wal-Mart issued a statement today to say four of its stores remain closed. The US retail giant has as many as 294 outlets shut. It announced today it is pledging US$1.5m to help with relief efforts in the hardest-hit areas.

Ahold confirmed some of its stores in New York and New Jersey were closed. A spokesperson for the Dutch retailer's US arm said the company was looking to get the affected outlets open "as quickly as possible".

"As power restoration is taking a matter of days, emergency generators are in operation at many stores and gas stations up and down the East Coast. Transportation teams continue to make deliveries across the regions and store associates are busy stocking shelves and serving customers," the spokesperson said.

Food manufacturers including Mondelez International, Unilever and Hershey all closed sites ahead of the storm, which was estimated to have been 1,100 miles in size.

Reports say almost 90 people in the US and Canada have died as a result of the storm. According to some estimates, over 3m people remain without power.

The hurricane had also hit the Caribbean before reaching the US. The storm killed 54 people in Haiti, the island trying to rebuild after the major earthquake of 2010.