Hardware Stores Remain Open During Lockdown

Two Ontario Home Hardware stores in Parry Sound and Gravenhurst have allowed in-person shopping, which caught residents' attention amid the provincial lockdown, says a CTV News reports. This follows a report last week about a Home Hardware in Alcona which was forced to offer curbside or delivery after the owners tried to find a loophole to allow customers inside. The Ontario lockdown mandates that stores selling non-essential goods – including hardware stores – have to remain closed to in-store traffic and operate solely through eCommerce and curbside pickups during the province-wide shutdown. “Following the Ontario government’s announcement to restrict retailing for hardware and home improvement, a small group of stores briefly moved their business from curbside to in-store retailing in an effort to support their local communities,” says Home Hardware Stores Limited in a statement to Home Improvement Retailing. “These stores have moved their business back to curbside . . . While we recognize retail restrictions are different across the country, here in Ontario, we expect all of our stores to operate with curbside pick-up and delivery only.” The company says it does, however, have “a couple of dealers with exemptions – both with written permission from their local health unit Based on sales history, they fall under the same classification as TSC/Peavey as supporting agricultural/farm. One of our stores was given permission by its local officials based on an LCBO operating inside the store. In all these cases, the stores have made significant provisions to protect health and safety.” It adds, “While the recent news from the Ontario government is not what we had hoped for, we continue to have conversations with the government in an effort to demonstrate our role in helping communities safely access the essential items they need.”