Following the Ontario government’s update to the list of essential businesses, all hardware stores in the province are required to be closed starting today.
The provincial government initially received some flack for the number of businesses that were allowed to stay open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but the list has since been shortened and no longer includes hardware stores.
Instead, stores that possess home hardware must sell “only through an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.”
Home Depot stores, for instance, are officially closed for customer entry in Ontario — but online shopping and curb side pick-up remain available.
“In accordance with recent provincial government measures, Ontario stores will be closed to customers as of Sunday, April 5,” the company posted to their website.
“Curbside Pick-Up remains available for same-day emergency needs. Quebec stores will be closed every Sunday in April. Stores in all other provinces will remain open with adjusted hours.”
And in an email to customers, Home Depot said they’re also eliminating major spring promotions and pausing flyers to avoid driving high levels of customer traffic to stores across Canada, and they’re also limiting services and installations to those that are essential for maintenance and repair needs in impacted markets.
Lowe’s has posted a similar message to their website, indicating that their stores will remain open for curb side pick-up only until 6 p.m. daily following an online order on their website.
Although the shortened list of essential businesses was to be expected, as Premier Doug Ford had mentioned several times that it would be reduced, it seems many Ontarians simply weren’t prepared for the shuttering of hardware stores.
Yesterday, in light of the announcement, Canadian Tire received an influx of customers which resulted in their website crashing and massive line ups outside their Ontario stores.
All business no longer included on the list of essential services were required to shut down by 11:59 p.m. yesterday, and the closure will be in effect for at least 14 days before the list is re-evaluated.