Albany, N.Y. – In a recent press release, Vermont Governor Phill Scott (R) issued new guidance to big box retailers. These retailers, such as Target, Wal-Mart and Costco were ordered to cease sales of “non-essential” items. The press release outlining the directive was issued on March 31. This is a significant step into restrictions on the sales of items for retailers who have already suffered due to restrictions.
According to an article at The Blaze, official statements say this is no different than the initial order. But it was specifically spelled out in the press release, which is different than the order. Many other states contain orders that are similar in language to the Vermont order.
Is this new directive from the Vermont Governor an overreach? It absolutely is! Before you write me off, let me explain.
The directive says that they cannot sell home repair items, home and garden items, electronics, toys, arts, crafts and many more. I understand that many of these items are maybe not necessary to simply survive. But some of things are needed to survive. Honestly, are those involved simply expected to sit around their houses with the doors locked out of fear?
That seems to be what they are after. The order seems to be the demand to stay home and simply sit doing nothing. What does this accomplish? Not only is it punishment on the people in the state, it’s also unnecessary punishment on the businesses.
March numbers have yet to be released, but retail sales fell in February. It was not drastic, but worth paying attention to. There will be a big boost in sales of things like toilet paper and household cleaning items in March, but what about those other items? They were already poised to face a decrease in sales.
Closings of factories in China was causing supply chain issues. Many companies were adjusting earnings guidance due to this. Some companies have dealt with empty shelves and unknown times of resupply. This has a direct affect on their sales revenue.
I understand the need to push for social distancing to help control the spread. I do not advocate for opening everything and letting the virus run wild. But to punish retailers who can deliver many of these products without requiring a shopper ever set foot inside of the store is absurd.
I have yet to set foot inside a retail store establishment since the beginning of the coronavirus issues. I have shopped many times. Curb side delivery is an amazing thing. If I want to order new fixtures for my home or paint my house during the stay home orders, is that a problem? It shouldn’t be.
These orders by the Vermont Governor are an absolute overreach of government authority. It’s one thing to ask for extra caution to help prevent the spread of a virus. It is totally different to mandate what an individual can or cannot do in their own home. The order may not say that directly, but it is exactly what it is doing.
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