MOORESVILLE, N.C., April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) today announces additional actions being made across all U.S. stores to further protect and provide for both our associates and customers during this unprecedented time. Our announcement includes a temporary $2 an hour wage increase for all full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly associates for the hours they work at Lowe's stores, contact centers and supply chain facilities in the U.S. and Canada for the month of April.
"We are continually working on ways to protect and support our associates and our customers during this time when we are all adjusting how we work and live," said Marvin Ellison, Lowe's president and CEO. "I'm announcing these new operational changes as we continue to keep the health and well-being of our associates and customers top of mind, especially as they look to us now more than ever for essential products, services and support. Today's wage increase for our hourly associates is just another way I want to thank our 300,000 associates for their heroic actions in serving the needs of our communities. I've never been prouder of our team, and they have my commitment that we will continue to adjust as the situation evolves."
We announce today these new operational efforts:
- We are temporarily increasing wages by $2 an hour for every full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly store, contact center and supply chain associates for hours they work throughout the month of April in the U.S. and Canada.
- We will be closing all stores at 7 p.m. daily to ensure additional time to replenish essential products and thoroughly clean and sanitize our stores daily.
- We are making masks and gloves available to all associates in the workplace who want them. As previously shared, all N95 medical masks were placed on a stop sale and are being donated to hospitals to protect frontline healthcare workers, along with other personal protective equipment for first responders in our communities.
- We developed an app to implement a new customer limit protocol, available now on associates' handheld devices. Each store manager can now monitor foot traffic and limit entrance based on CDC and local guidelines.
- We are enhancing our social distancing protocols by adding dedicated social distancing ambassadors who will be responsible for monitoring customer flow in our garden centers and front-end areas and enforce customer limits to allow proper social distancing.
- We also made substantial updates to our store floor layouts to further support the CDC's guidelines for social distancing, such as opening up aisle space by removing displays. These changes will make it easier for both associates and customers to get the items they need quickly and safely. Specific examples include:
- Removed product from the main aisle to help maintain safe distance.
- Removed racking and tables in other aisles to open up space.
- Expanded the area for customers leveraging our Buy Online, Pick Up In Store option or making a return
- Added floor markers spaced 6-feet apart to help guide customers
- We have installed customized Plexiglass shields at all points of sale to protect our cashiers and customer service associates working the return desk, one of the first retailers to do so.
- We increased third-party cleaning shifts to provide incremental cleaning in our stores, beyond already enhanced daily cleaning efforts.
- We shipped an additional 10,000 truckloads of essential products during this period to replenish our stores.
These new actions follow our previously announced commitment of more than $100 million in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the following actions to support the health and well-being of associates and customers:
- $80 million in special payments to hourly associates that was paid on March 31 to recognize their tireless efforts to serve customers and communities and to help with those who may be experiencing unplanned expenses and hardships during this time. The payment amount was $300 for full-time associates and $150 for part-time and seasonal associates.
- $25 million to support the emerging needs of associates, customers and communities. This includes a $10 million donation in essential protective products to do our part in helping to keep medical professionals on the frontlines of this crisis healthy and safe. We deeply appreciate their actions and commitment. These funds will also support our Employee Relief Fund and offer small business relief for our Pros. Read more about our commitment here.
- Actively hiring 30,000 associates in stores across the U.S. to support our communities. We have full-time, part-time, overnight and seasonal roles available for displaced workers and those who are seeking short-term opportunities. Those interested in learning more or applying for available opportunities can visit jobs.lowes.com or text "JOBS" to LOWES (56937) to apply.
- Offered 14-days of emergency paid leave for all associates who need it, whether that's because they are feeling sick, caring for a loved one, or because they have been faced with new hardships such as closed schools and daycares.
- Extended emergency paid leave up to a total of four weeks for those at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Extended telemedicine benefit through Teladoc to all associates and their families whether they are seasonal, temporary, part-time or full-time, regardless if they are enrolled in Lowe's medical plan.
- Additional previously announced operational changes include:
- Added overhead announcements, store signage, and customer and associate guidelines that emphasize the importance of social distancing.
- Increased the services of third-party cleaning providers and implemented morning, afternoon and after-hours cleaning practices.
- Implemented a more robust curbside pickup process, so customers can be served without having to come inside the store.
- Changed delivery procedures to safeguard customer and associate health by leaving items at the front door, garage, or alternative location, or by asking if anyone in a customer's home has tested positive for COVID-19 before entering the home for an installation.
- Created pantries in stores so that associates can have access to food while at the store and to take home.
For more information about the company's response, visit newsroom.lowes.com.
Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) is a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company serving approximately 18 million customers a week in the United States and Canada. With fiscal year 2019 sales of $72.1 billion, Lowe's and its related businesses operate or service more than 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores and employ approximately 300,000 associates. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's supports the communities it serves through programs focused on creating safe, affordable housing and helping to develop the next generation of skilled trade experts. For more information, visit Lowes.com.
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SOURCE Lowe's Companies, Inc.