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Target reopens fitting rooms, Walmart increasing store hours

With more people around the U.S. getting vaccinated, retailers are making changes to welcome customers back into stores.

WASHINGTON — For the first time in more than a year, Target will once again let shoppers try on clothes in its fitting rooms. 

The company updated its website on Tuesday to note that fitting rooms "are open at all Target stores, except for a small number of fitting rooms being used for vaccinations."

"We’ll continue to frequently disinfect and clean our stores throughout the day, as we have throughout the pandemic, and have team members dedicated to high touch areas like fitting rooms," Target added.  

Target was among the many retailers which closed fitting rooms last year when COVID-19 cases began to rise around the country. 

But with more people around the U.S. getting vaccinated, retailers are making changes to welcome back customers that may have done most of their shopping online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walmart has announced that starting Saturday, its store hours will expand to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., unless restricted by local mandates. The company also said Tuesday that most of its in-store pharmacies and vision centers will resume "pre-COVID hours" beginning on July 3. 

Walmart U.S. chief operating officer Dacona Smith explained in a statement Tuesday that when they first restricted store hours they promised to stay close to guidance around the virus. 

"As COVID-19 cases leveled out, we expanded our closing time late last year and now, with the number of fully vaccinated Americans growing higher every day, we believe we can adjust hours once again," Smith wrote. 

Sam's Club and Costco have also announced plans to bring back free samples for their customers. 

The moves come two weeks after Target, Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and most major retailers dropped mask mandates for fully vaccinated shoppers, following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.