Residence Depot mentioned it has halted all gross sales of N95 masks at its shops and web site and “redirected” them to be donated to hospitals, well being care staff and first responders treating sufferers throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The corporate mentioned Wednesday that it had issued the “stop-sale” order to all its shops and web site for N95 masks, a tight-fitting respirator that gives extra safety than commonplace facemasks.
The transfer got here as retailers have come underneath scrutiny for persevering with to promote the respirators amid a scarcity for well being care professionals throughout COVID-19.
Goal final week apologized on Twitter for promoting N95 masks in some Seattle shops.
Mike Roman, CEO and chairman of N95 respirator maker 3M, final week criticized retailers that have been nonetheless promoting the masks.
“It’s disappointing once you see that as a result of we’re attempting to redirect every thing to health-care staff,” Roman mentioned on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Avenue.”
Residence Depot spokesperson Sara Gorman mentioned in an e-mail that the corporate “stopped replenishing shops after we ran out beginning a pair weeks in the past.”
“Then we requested shops to seek for any leftover that may be within the overhead, or wherever else, and to donate them domestically. We redirected all shipments in our provide chain to be donated to hospitals, healthcare suppliers and first responders across the nation. As an additional precaution, we locked them down with a cease sale starting final week,” she mentioned.
Marvin Ellison, CEO of Residence Depot rival Lowe’s, instructed USA TODAY final week that the corporate was donating N-95 masks to medical facilities throughout the nation.
Residence Depot mentioned Wednesday in a press release that additionally it is “donating tens of millions of in private protecting gear (PPE) and different merchandise and prioritizing achievement to hospitals, healthcare suppliers and first responders.”
Additionally Wednesday, Residence Depot introduced it will:
• Shut shops at 6 p.m. “to permit extra time for sanitization and restocking.”
• Restrict the variety of clients allowed into its shops.
• Abandon “main spring promotions to keep away from driving excessive ranges of visitors to shops.”
• Pare again companies and installations “to those who are important for upkeep and restore wants in impacted markets.”
• Ask staff to examine their temperatures with a company-provided thermometer earlier than coming to work.
Residence Depot added: “We’ve been marshalling the sources of our merchandising and provide chain groups to globally supply high quality merchandise and expedite the supply of wanted gadgets.”
Comply with USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.