The Home Depot has provided an update on several temporary changes to its business in response to COVID-19, as the retailer aims to bolster its safety measures, take care of customers and employees and support communities battling the virus.
“As our communities battle COVID-19, The Home Depot is committed to providing the essential needs required to maintain homes and businesses while doing our best to protect our valued customers and associates. This has resulted in several temporary changes to our business as we look out for your safety and the safety of our associates,” said Craig Menear, chairman, CEO and president of The Home Depot. “We want to thank our associates and our customers for their patience and cooperation as we work through this challenge together.”
The company has instituted several measures for the safety of its customers and associates, including: closing stores early at 6:00 p.m. to allow more time for sanitization and restocking; limiting the number of customers allowed into stores at one time; promoting social and physical distancing practices in stores by marking floors and adding signage to help customers and associates maintain safe distances; eliminating major spring promotions to avoid driving high levels of traffic to stores; limiting services and installations to those that are essential for maintenance and repair needs in impacted markets; and distributing thermometers to associates in stores and distribution centers and asking them to perform health checks before reporting to work.
The Home Depot has introduced several benefits enhancements for associates. The company added 80 hours of paid time off for all full-time hourly associates and 40 hours of paid time off for part-time hourly associates to be used at their discretion at any time in 2020 and paid out at year-end if not used. For associates who are 65 years of age or older, or determined to be at higher risk by the CDC, the company added 160 hours of paid time off for full-time hourly associates and 80 hours of paid time off for part-time hourly associates.
The home improvement retailer is also providing paid time off for any associate who has contracted COVID-19 until released by a doctor; providing up to 14 days paid time off for any associate required to be quarantined by a public health authority or the CDC; providing additional bonuses to hourly associates in stores and distribution center, $100 per week for full-time hourly associates and $50 per week for part-time hourly associates; providing double pay for overtime hours worked by hourly associates; and extended dependent care benefits and waived co-pays.
In terms of supporting communities, the company noted that, weeks ago, it voluntarily froze pricing nationwide across product categories in high demand due to COVID-19. The retailer also executed a “Stop-Sale” on all N95 masks in stores and online and redirected all shipments to be donated to hospitals, health care providers and first responders around the country.
In addition, Home Depot noted that it has been donating millions of dollars in personal protective equipment (PPE) and other products to hospitals, health care providers and first responders; and prioritizing order fulfillment for hospitals, healthcare providers and first responders.