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Local governments around the US are taking more draconian measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by banning “essential” stores such as grocery chains or big-box retailers from selling “nonessential” items such as clothing and electronics.
These stores, which have been allowed to stay open during state lockdowns because they sell groceries or offer pharmacy services, for example, are now required in some parts of the US to remove nonessential items or rope off areas of the store so customers can’t access these products.
The article goes on to state the following:
Vermont is among those clamping down on this. At the end of March, the state’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development directed essential big-box stores including Walmart, Costco, and Target to stop selling nonessential items not listed in the governor’s executive order outlining essential services.
The statement slams the large retails for generating “significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location”, and further reads, “This volume of shopping traffic significantly increases the risk of further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont’s health care system. We are directing these stores to put public health first and help us reduce the number of shoppers.”
Vermont too. pic.twitter.com/W4Vz0jzAmd
— WayneG #MAGAVeteran (@WayneGriswold) April 6, 2020
Below is a portion of the directive ordering the stores to stop selling non-essential items:
Large “big box” retailers must cease in-person sales of non-essential items not listed in the Executive Order, including, but not limited to: arts and crafts, beauty, carpet and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment (books, music, movies), furniture, home and garden, jewelry, paint, photo services, sports equipment, toys and the like.
Large “big box” retailers must:
- Restrict access to non-essential goods. Stores must close aisles, close portions of the store, or remove items from the floor.
- Only offer non-essential items via online portals, telephone, delivery, or curbside pickup, to the extent possible.
- Except in the event of emergencies threatening the health and welfare of a customer, showrooms and garden sections of large home improvement centers should be closed.
According to photos posted on social media, the garden seed section was blocked off as non-essential in one Walmart store, but the store manager was ordered to “unrope” that section.
I just got off the phone with Walmart manager in Williston, VT. He said his Walmart boss jus told him to *unrope* this section.
— Rikki Ratliff (@rikkiratliff) April 3, 2020
The Springfield, Missouri Planning and Development director has issued the same order, asking stores to limit the sales of non-essential items, such as sporting goods and furniture.
Springfield-Greene Co. leaders order businesses to not sell non-essential items: https://t.co/vo5gbj5mOW
— KY3 News (@kytv) April 7, 2020
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