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Home Depot Changes Store Hours, Limits Number of Customers Allowed Inside

By Daniel B. Kline – Apr 1, 2020 at 9:37AM

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The home improvement chain has remained busy despite the coronavirus.

Being forced to stay home requires supplies like trash bags, toilet paper, and, given the current pandemic, extra cleaning products. It also gives people time to work on home improvement projects, gardens, and other work around the house.

Home Depot (HD 0.34%) meets all of those needs. Filling those, while also keeping workers and customers safe, has forced the chain to make some changes.

The inside of a a Home Depot.

A worker helps a customer at Home Depot (before the current pandemic). Image source: Home Depot.

What is Home Depot doing?

The home improvement chain has begun closing its stores at 6 p.m. to allow more time for sanitization and restocking. It has also started limiting the number of people allowed in its stores at once while marking floors and adding signs to promote social distancing.

Home Depot has also suspended its spring promotions to avoid driving traffic to its stores. It's also limiting service calls and installation work to only essential maintenance and repairs. And the chain has started checking workers' temperatures in stores and distribution centers.

"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," CEO Craig Menear said in a press release. "This has resulted in several temporary changes to our business as we look out for your safety and the safety of our associates."

A difficult balance

Home Depot has to balance safety and sales. That's not easy, especially when you're dealing with a virus you can't see whose symptoms don't present immediately. The chain has, so far, taken reasonable measures and appears to be doing the best job possible to protect its customers, workers, and bottom line.

Daniel B. Kline has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Home Depot and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $120 calls on Home Depot and short January 2021 $210 calls on Home Depot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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