Retailers In Vermont Are Told To Avoid Selling Anything But The Essentials

The news around the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly changing, but information about food safety and how to keep yourself healthy is crucial right now. Here is a comprehensive list on the foods you should be stocking up on during this period of social distancing, as well as information about your local grocery stores’ changing hours, an explanation of “no-contact delivery,” and a guide on how to help your community and its businesses throughout closures.

Big-box retailers in Vermont like Walmart, Costco, and Target are being asked to stop in-store sales of non-essential items because of social distancing concerns amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

A statement from the state’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development, previously reported on by Fox Business, urged these retailers specifically to prioritize essential needs like groceries and medicine and to set up curb-side and delivery ordering where possible in an effort to curb people gathering in large groups.

The statement also requested that these businesses restrict access to non-essential items by closing aisles and instead offering those goods online where possible. The statement classified these non-essential goods as “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 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.

Like many other states, Vermont has urged residents to leave their homes for essentials only to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Costco, Target, and other retailers have put social distancing guidelines into place as they’ve seen an increase in foot traffic.

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