Stores owned by retailers including Wal-Mart Stores and Delhaize remain closed in the wake of Hurricane Irene, which hit the US east coast on Saturday (27 August).

Irene hit the US mainland on Saturday when it reached North Carolina and moved up the eastern seaboard over the weekend, leaving millions without power and damaging homes and businesses.

Retailers had closed some stores ahead of Irene hitting the US mainland, while stores faced consumers stocking up with essentials as they prepared to face the storm.

Wal-Mart said yesterday that “close to 300 stores” were temporarily closed at the peak of the storm, with “roughly 30” still closed mainly due to power cuts.

A spokesperson for Delhaize’s US arm told just-food that around 50 of the Belgium-based retailer’s outlets were closed. “At this time, we have approximately 50 stores closed, primarily in the coastal regions of North Carolina and Virginia, as well as Richmond, Virginia, where there continue to be power outages in this region,” the spokesperson said. “We’re working as quickly as possible to re-open our stores for our customers.”

US regional retailer A&P, which has 336 outlets in seven eastern states, said the “majority” of its stores were open for business. “We are working hard to re-open our stores as quickly as possible that were closed due to flooding and power outages,” the retailer said.

SuperValu Inc said chains including Acme, Farm Fresh and Save-a-Lot were hit by Irene “to a varying degree” but said: “The specific impact varies store-to-store, of course, but generally speaking, we have fared relatively well as a whole. The largest issue we’ve experienced has been power outages, but the vast majority of our stores are now open through their own power or under generator power. One store in Vermont is currently closed due to flooding, and we are actively working to address that situation and also support the local community.”

Meanwhile, Dutch retailer Ahold, which owns stores in the north-east of the US, said two of its outlets remained closed.