Big box crackdown explained

Published: Apr. 2, 2020 at 12:29 AM EDT
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Reaction from Vermont leaders and big-box retailers about the state's latest move to get you to stop shopping during the stay-at-home order.

Under Gov. Phil Scott's executive order, big-box retailers, including Target, Costco and Walmart, are no longer allowed to sell you anything inside the store the state deems nonessential.

Those so-called nonessentials range from arts and crafts to beauty products to books and electronics.

WCAX News asked the governor and Vermont Commerce Secretary Lindsay Kurrle to explain how this will work.

"What we're trying to do, and I hope people understand this. It isn't that we're trying to exclude certain items, we're trying to prevent people from going there in groups to just shop for nothing, for nothing they have to have at that point in time. So, if we can take this break for the next two to three weeks, we feel as though we'll get ahead of this. That's been our goal the entire time," said Scott, R-Vermont.

"The goal here is to stop folks from congregating in areas for nonessential items," Kurrle said. "So the inquiries that we were receiving indicated to us that we needed to put out more guidance. It's not new guidance but reminds folks of what our hope is. We don't want to prevent people from getting something that they believe they need. If it's a school supply or some electronics, we don't want to prevent people from getting that or an appliance, but we're asking folks to really consider is it something that can't wait right now and they can work with the retailer to pick it up curbside. And we're seeing a lot of desire by retailers to comply with that."

WCAX reached out to Target and Walmart for a response.

Target says the ordinance was new to them as of Tuesday, so they couldn't address it until Wednesday.

They now have signs around the nonessentials, encouraging people to only buy necessities.

Target corporate couldn't tell us what would happen if you went to the register with something in your cart from the banned list. They said if you have questions, talk to a store manager,

A spokesperson for Walmart says they're hunting down some answers as to what you can expect the next time you're in the store.