Costco, Walmart, and Target Stop Selling Non-Essential Items in Certain Areas of the United States, and Buyers Revolt

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  • In parts of the United States, governments have banned big box stores and grocery chains from selling non-essential items to reduce pedestrian traffic and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • Vermont and Michigan are among the places that have applied these rules.
  • While some buyers have celebrated the new restrictions, differing opinions about what is essential and what is not, are creating confusion and irritation for others.
  • Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.

It is no longer possible to shop your entire local big box store in certain areas of the United States.

Local governments are increasingly saying that stores such as Costco, Walmart and Target that were allowed to stay open during closings because they sell essential items such as groceries should not be allowed to sell items not essential during the coronavirus pandemic.

The reason for this is that it prevents shoppers from spending unnecessary time browsing the store – and thus limits their risk of exposure to the coronavirus – and makes it fairer for other stores that mainly sell non-essential items and have been forced to close.

Vermont and Michigan are among the governments that have put in place new regulations preventing big box stores from selling non-essential items.

The Vermont Trade and Community Development Agency has ordered these retailers to “stop in-person sales” of products, including “arts and crafts, beauty, carpets and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment (books , music, movies), furniture, home and garden, jewelry, paint, photographic services, sports equipment, toys and the like. “

In Michigan, big box stores larger than 50,000 square feet are needed to tie up carpets and flooring, furniture and paint services, as well as garden centers and nurseries.

While some buyers welcomed the new restrictions, others criticized local governments and the stores themselves for not allowing them to shop freely. And the differing opinions on what is essential versus what is not essential create confusion.

In a recent example reported by Hayley Peterson of Business Insider, a Walmart in Big Rapids, Michigan, last week demarcated an area of ​​his store that included baby products, preventing a buyer from buying a seat. baby car. These products were not listed as non-essential items in the latest governor’s decree.

A Walmart representative then told Business Insider that Michigan customers could purchase infant products and said the items should not have been removed.

“We are reiterating this direction with the store management to ensure consistent service to our customers in our Michigan stores,” said the representative.

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