Some Walmart, Target and Costco Stores Are Banned from Selling Nonessential Items

In states like Indiana and Vermont, big-box retailers have been asked to stop in-person sales of nonessential items.

With everyone’s health in mind, businesses are changing the way we shop during the COVID-19 outbreak. There’s been a major shift to grocery delivery, and some retailers have rolled out senior hours for older shoppers. Now, big-box chains like Walmart, Target and Costco are banned from selling nonessential items in certain locations across the U.S.

So far, the ban affects some stores in Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Vermont. Here’s what to know before you shop.

A Closer Look at the New Rules

Local governments in some states are putting their foot down on the in-person sales of nonessential items. Vermont, in particular, regards “arts and crafts, beauty, carpet and flooring, clothing, consumer electronics, entertainment (books, music, movies), furniture, home and garden, jewelry, paint, photo services, sports equipment and toys” as nonessentials. Following suit are Summit County, Colorado, Springfield, Missouri and Howard County, Indiana.

Michigan is also urging big-box stores to shut down unnecessary areas. That includes furniture, carpeting, paint and gardening sections. The announcement came from Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer via YouTube on April 9 in response to COVID-19 concerns.

Here’s why Costco isn’t accepting returns right now.

So…Why the Changes?

To limit the spread of COVID-19, states are making efforts to limit the number of patrons in stores, thus promoting social distancing. If you do have to go out, the CDC recommends wearing a mask while gathering up your essentials.

Don’t worry, though, you can still get your hands on some nonessentials right now, like gardening gear and craft stuff. The stores are still doing curbside pickup and delivery, so you won’t have to self-isolate without projects to keep you occupied. Plus, Amazon is a great go-to for both nonessentials and grocery delivery if you’d rather skip a trip to the store.

There are plenty of cheap ways to stay entertained, too! Check out these totally free virtual tours.

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Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.