Vermont is asking big box stores to stop selling nonessential items, including clothing, consumer electronics, books, movies, music, furniture, jewelry, paint, sports equipment, and more, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Many of the big-box retailers in Vermont, such as Target, Costco, and Walmart, are now being told that nothing but essential items should be sold in-store because of social distancing concerns.
It comes in the form of a statement from the state’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development that was reported by FOX Business. Retailers were being urged to prioritize essential items, such as medicine and groceries. Curbside and delivery orders should also be made available to keep people from gathering in large groups.
It was also requested that the big-box retailers restrict access to any nonessential items by closing the aisles and that those items should be offered online if possible. Some of the items that were classified as nonessential goods were “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 generate significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “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 by requiring on-line ordering, delivery, and curbside pickup whenever possible, and by stopping the sale of non-essential items,” the statement continued.
Vermont has joined many other states that are telling residents they should only leave their homes for essential items to help slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Social distancing guidelines have been put into place by Costco, Target, and other retailers since foot traffic has been on the rise.