Count Home Depot (HD 1.75%) among the shrinking selection of retailers that will continue normal operations through the outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S. The company said on Wednesday that it is cutting back on operating hours and making a few changes aimed at protecting health and safety for its workers and shoppers, while keeping its store base open as always.
Home Depot stores will close at 6 p.m. each evening, effective Thursday, March 19, management said in a press release, while opening hours will remain the same. The extra downtime will allow for restocking and a thorough cleaning of the property, executives noted.
"Our customers rely on us for urgent repairs, products and materials," CEO Craig Menear explained, "and we've always been committed to serving them during times of crisis and natural disaster."
The company named a few of these currently in-demand products, including hot water heaters, cleaning supplies, and merchandise related to electrical and plumbing repairs.
Home Depot is encouraging employees to stay at home if they feel sick, and it is promoting that policy by issuing additional sick leave and personal leave time to all employees. The retailer also plans to pay associates for any self-quarantine time that they may be required to take.