KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) – Shoppers looking to run by Nebraska Furniture Mart to browse for items this weekend will find the doors locked.

In a statement posted to the company website Tuesday, COO Tony Boldt announced that all of the company’s showrooms, including the store at the Legends shopping area in Kansas City, Kansas, will close after 7 p.m. Friday as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Boldt noted that this is the first time since a 1975 tornado hit Omaha that the chain has closed its stores.

“Nothing is more important to us than being there for our friends and neighbors,” he said in the statement. “We have always made it a point to see our friends and family through trying times and that’s why we’ve taken the steps necessary to rise to this challenge and make sure people still have access to essential items they need to make this difficult period less stressful.”

The store had remained open citing its place as an “essential business” since it sells items people pushed into working remotely would need for a home office or items for seniors like lift chairs. It had also reduced store hours and had staff practicing social distancing.

However, some critics claimed that was a stretch, since other stores considered “essential” were retail business like grocery stores and pharmacies.

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