Costco, Home Depot limit shoppers in stores

  • Starting Friday, Costco stores will allow no more than two people to enter with each membership card.

    Starting Friday, Costco stores will allow no more than two people to enter with each membership card. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 4/2/2020 9:54 AM

Costco and Home Depot are limiting customers allowed inside stores in an effort to avoid spreading coronavirus.

Costco will allow no more than two people to enter with each membership card. A statement on costco.com said the changes will begin Friday, though a line of more than 20 shoppers with carts had formed outside Costco in Mount Prospect by 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

An employee at the Mount Prospect store told a caller the store launched the two-person-per-card limit Wednesday.

A company spokeswoman said by email she could not answer questions.

About 200 yards away from the Mount Prospect Costco stands a Home Depot, which is also restricting the number of customers who can enter.

"Across the board, we are limiting customers coming into the store to 100 people," Home Depot media spokeswoman Margaret Smith told the Daily Herald from the store's headquarters in Atlanta. "Our stores on average are about 100,000 square feet."

The stores have limited the number of entrances and have employees counting customers at each of them.

"However many people walk out, that's how many can walk in," she said.

Home Depot started the procedure at high-volume stores last week, but it began Wednesday at all stores.

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"It's been going real well," Smith added. "Our stores have been working really hard not just in terms of limiting the customers but in several other things we've put in place in terms of social and physical distancing.

Smith said the stores have "physical distancing captains."

"Part of their job is to encourage customers and associates to keep six feet between them and the next person," Smith said. "We put floor markers down if you're waiting in line, if you walk up to the cash rack or the customer service desk."

You'll also hear announcements over the public address system encourage customers to observe social distancing, Smith said.

Also, "we have given associates the option to wear a tag that clips on to their aprons. It pretty much says, 'Home Depot cares about you and me, so please stay six feet away,'" Smith said.

At Costco, the limit on customers comes on top of reduced hours. Stores will close at 6:30 p.m. on weekdays for most stores, instead of 8:30 p.m. Stores will open from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday for members ages 60 and older and those with physical impairments.

"This temporary change is for your safety and the safety of our employees and other members, and to further assist with our social distancing efforts," Costco.com said.

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