Home improvement stores full in coronavirus lockdowns

michael jhon

Some people stuck at home amid coronavirus lockdowns are using the time to whittle down their fix-it lists and home improvement projects, retailers say. “We’re definitely seeing the folks stuck at home saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do that project which I’ve been wanting to do,’ ” said Barbara Werkheiser, […]

Some people stuck at home amid coronavirus lockdowns are using the time to whittle down their fix-it lists and home improvement projects, retailers say.

“We’re definitely seeing the folks stuck at home saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do that project which I’ve been wanting to do,’ ” said Barbara Werkheiser, co-owner of Nazareth Hometown Hardware in Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Live reports. “I think people are trying to be constructive.”

For others, however, it’s less a matter a choice rather than necessity.

In Portland, Oregon, Kat Bradfield said she’s trying to obey a state stay-at-home order but needed a new ethernet cable to work from home, bringing her to The Home Depot, The Oregonian reported.

More than 487,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 22,000 deaths as of March 26, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 69,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

The World Health Organization has declared coronavirus a global pandemic. The United States has declared a national emergency.

Cities and states across the nation have issued shelter-in-place orders to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, closing non-essential businesses and telling people to work from home.

Hardware and home improvement stores are considered essential businesses and exempt from most shutdown orders, The Washington Post reports. Plumbers, electricians and other home repair workers also are considered essential services.

“Homeowners and businesses depend on us for urgent needs such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like tarps, propane and batteries,” Home Depot says on its site.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Home Depot says stores will close at 6 p.m. to restock shelves and perform cleaning.

The company also gave workers additional paid sick leave and personal time, USA Today reports.

Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison says his company’s stores also are seeing plenty of customers during the coronavirus lockdowns, CNBC reported.

“As customers are sheltering in place, they’re looking at that deferred list of home projects,” he said, according to the network. “As they spend time around the home, they now have more time on their hands to tackle some of those things.”

Ellison said Lowe’s stores also are seeing a rise in sales of refrigerators and freezers as people stock up on food, Fortune reported.

The CEO compared the pandemic to a natural disaster such as a flood or tornado, CNBC reported. He praised Lowe’s employees for their efforts.

“They know that we have to be there because even though this is a crisis for our country and community, if your home is not functional that adds additional stress,” he said, according to the network.

The company has extended paid leave and given bonuses to employees.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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