NewsCovering Kern County


Home improvement stores implement strict social distancing measures in light of large customer influx

Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-08 22:21:20-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — With more people staying home due to COVID-19, appliances and home improvements stores like Lowe's and Home Depot said they are seeing an influx of customers looking to buy tools and other goods to improve their home quarantine experience.

23ABC News spoke to Home Depot and Lowe's supervisors about what they are doing to protect employees and customers as well as shoppers.

Bakersfield resident Kelli Crespo said now that she's spending all of her free time at home she’s finally renovating her whole backyard and family pool area.

“So pretty much I am using this time staying at home with nothing else to do the backyard, make it kind of more of a homey kind of feeling back there rather than just this concrete desert,” she said.

Crespo is not the only person looking to enhance her backyard quarantine experience in light of the pandemic. Several other people like Bailey Berder said they are also using this time for stay at home improvement projects.

“We’ve torn out so many plants, we’ve planted plants,” said Berder.

Home Depot Store Manager Nikki Martinez says they are having to implement strict social distancing measures to control the higher volume of customers.

“They’ve limited our store hours we no longer close at ten we close at six p.m., so that limits some customer flow also," said Martinez. "We only have one hundred customers give or take at a time in the store,” Martinez said.

According to Martinez Home Depot is now using tape markers on the ground to help enforce social distancing in checkout lines, inside the store, and the long lines outside. Employees are also now required to wear badges on their aprons while they are working that say, "Home Depot cares about you and me so please stay six feet away." Martinez said this is to help act as an extra social distancing reminder.

Public health recommends that stores sanitize high touch point areas frequently and practice social distancing measures. Officials can shut them down if they don't. For a list of what each store should be doing regularly click here.

Lowe's Store Manager Robert Garza said they are doing the same thing as Home Depot and they are also implementing routine sanitizing measures.

"All cashiers are sanitizing and deep cleaning the register area between each customer," said Garza. "We have employees coming in three to four times a day cleaning all touch points."

Both stores said that over the weekend is when they are seeing the biggest influx of people but Home Depot shoppers told 23ABC News that if you do have your Home Depot card you may be able to skip the long wait time outside.