Lowe’s has developed an app for its associates’ handheld devices that lets store managers monitor foot traffic and limit entrance based on CDC and local guidelines.
Lowe’s rolled out around 88,000 smart mobile devices to store associates in 2019, in a move to improve associate engagement and drive store simplification.
The app is part of a series of store changes the retailer has made to improve social distancing during the coronavirus health crisis, including adding dedicated “social distancing ambassadors” who will be responsible for monitoring customer flow in our garden centers and front-end areas.
These workers will also enforce the number of customers permitted in the store.
Lowe’s has removed racking, tables and displays to open up aisle space and expanded the area for customers using buy-online-pickup-in-store or making returns. It’s also added floor markers that are spaced 6-feet apart and installed customized Plexiglass shields at all points of sale.
To better support its store associates, the home-improvement retailer is issuing a $2 per hour wage increase for all full-time, part-time and seasonal hourly associates for April. They were given bonuses — $300 for full-time and $150 for part-time workers — on March 31 to recognize their efforts and help with unplanned expenses.
“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.”
Lowe’s, which now closes all stores at 7pm daily to provide extra time for cleaning and restocking, has ceased selling N95 medical masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to donate them to healthcare workers. The company said all associates have access to providing masks and gloves.
The retailer is one of several that is actively hiring at this time, and wishes to bring on 30,000 associates.