Lowe’s and Target are the latest U.S. retailers to say they will provide masks and gloves to employees in ramping up social-distancing measures.
Chains that are staying open amid the coronavirus pandemic because they have been deemed essential by local governments are upgrading protections for workers and customers on a regular basis. And it appears giving employees masks is the next phase, following Walmart’s announcement earlier this week.
Lowe’s will give masks and gloves to employees who want them, but it’s not a company mandate. Target said it will “strongly encourage” them to be worn for every shift.
Other measures from Lowe’s include widening aisles, installing plastic shields at checkouts and filling stores with orange cones and blue tape to signal the six feet that people should distance from each other. The company is also raising pay for all hourly workers, including supply chain and call centers, by $2 an hour for April.
Lowe’s and Target join Ahold Delhaize, the European owner of U.S. supermarket chains Stop & Shop and Hannaford, which is purchasing 200,000 face shields and 500,000 masks for its 212,000 American employees, U.S. CEO Kevin Holt said earlier this week.
“We don’t have an overriding policy on masks,” Holt said. “If an employee wants to have them, we want to have them available.”
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