Harvey Norman has closed all 24 stores in Malaysia in response to a 14-day lockdown initiated by the government across the country.
Designed to slow the spread of coronavirus at a national level, the Movement Control Order officially kicked into gear on 18 March and will last until 31 March.
The order spans the entire country, placing a ban on public gatherings such as religious, sports, social and cultural events, with all non-essential businesses not selling daily necessities shutting up shop.
"This move is necessary to prevent the spread of Covid-19 which could claim the lives of Malaysians, as it has thousands of people in other countries," said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, during a special address to the nation on 16 March.
“Drastic action should be taken immediately to prevent the spread of the disease by limiting the movement of the public. This is the only way we can prevent more people from being infected by the outbreaks that can destroy lives.
“I hope all of you can endure this challenge. Don't panic, don't worry, and stay calm. I believe that with this, we will be able to block the spread of this outbreak in the near future.”
In response, the Australian-based electronics retailer has closed all stores in Malaysia, impacting the regions of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Johor Bahru, Sarawak, Kelantan and Ipoh.
“The company is taking steps to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers,” a statement from Harvey Norman read.
Specifically, the closures cover Sunway Velocity Mall; Mid Valley; Pavilion; 1 Mont Kiara and Nu Sentral in Kuala Lumpur, alongside Queensbay Mall; Gurney Paragon and IKEA Batu Kawan in Penang.
In Selangor, impacted locations include IPC Shopping Centre; Sunway Pyramid; Aeon Bukit Tinggi; Citta Mall and Setia City Mall, as well as Paradigm Mall; Ampang Point Shopping Centre; IOI City Mall and Menara Maximin.
This is in addition to Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru; Mid Valley Southkey and Harvey Norman Toppen Johor in Johor Bahru, plus Miri Times Square and Vivacity Megamall in Sarawak and Aeon Kota Bharu and Ipoh Parade Mall in Kelantan and Ipoh respectively.
At this stage, the retailer said wholly-owned company operated stores in Singapore remain open for business as usual.