As of Friday, Apple is temporarily closing all retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. Previously, the retailer told retail workers to refrain from encouraging customers to try on popular tech gadgets like the Apple Watch and Air Pods in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the company is allowing hourly employees, including retail workers, to take unlimited sick leave should they have coronavirus-like symptoms.
Amid growing coronavirus concerns and employers, schools and institutions mandating work-from-home policies, AT&T is lifting overage fees and removing internet data caps for home broadband internet users.
With more and more people being encouraged or mandated to work from home, Comcast is offering its Essentials internet service free for 60 days for new qualifying customers. Made for lower-income families, the plan—which normally costs $9.95/month—will also increase its speed from 15/2 MBPS to 25/3 for all new and existing customers, and will stay that speed moving forward.
Comcast is also pausing its data plans for 60 days, giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge. Also, for those with school-age students at home, Comcast has created new educational collections in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. Learn more.
The major retailer has suspended the distribution of free food samples at its stores.
The drugstore announced that it will help facilitate COVID-19 testing in secure areas of parking lots at select stores—not inside. Individuals tested will not have to leave their cars. The company will share more news when it’s ready.
In an effort to protect customers and employees, the beauty retailer is closing all temporary and permanent store locations until further notice, effective immediately.
To support parents trying to keep kids busy at home, KiwiCo has launched a resource hub with tons of stay-at-home educational activities for every age, tips from teachers on effective remote learning, and kid-friendly science content, such as an explanation of handwashing. KiwiCo will add new content and resources to the hub regularly.
Macy’s has put in place enhanced cleaning measures, including hiring more cleaning staff to work during open hours to clean highly trafficked areas and hard surfaces more frequently. The company has also enacted an emergency leave and pay policy, ensuring that employees will receive compensation should they be infected with COVID-19 and required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Weekdays from March 12 through 31, Postmates is reducing delivery fees by half for all orders of $10 or more between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time. The delivery service is also offering an option for customers to receive their items with no contact upon delivery.
The sustainable clothing brand is shuttering all stores for the time being and giving retail employees paid time off.
While schools are closed, the public educational company Scholastic has set up a ‘Learn From Home’ website with four categories: PreK and Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+. Each section is equipped with one week of content for students with 15 additional days on the way.
The food delivery service is offering “contact-free delivery” at checkout for the safety of customers and drivers. In addition, the company is deferring commission fees for impacted independent restaurants as well as matching all of their promotions in order to help make their investments more effective and weather the current situation. A new Seamless Community Relief Fund will also use all Donate the Change contributions from customers to support drivers and restaurants impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
While stores will remain open, Sephora is suspending all paid in-store services including makeovers, skin care applications and classes for the time being. The company is also waiving standard shipping fees on all orders through the end of March when you use the code FREESHIP at checkout.
Starting March 15, Starbucks is moving to a “to go” model in all company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada for at least two weeks. The company is also halting the use of all seating, including both the cafe and patio areas. Starbucks has temporarily suspended the use of reusable cups at all locations worldwide. The company says it will still honor the 10-cent discount for customers who bring in a personal travel mug or tumbler, though they won’t be able to use them.
The Home Depot
The Home Depot is stepping up cleaning and sanitizing practices across all locations, and have paused all in-store workshops and other large gatherings. To best serve as many customers as possible, Home Depot has implemented a purchase limit of 10 face masks per person.
The popular grocery store has suspended free food and beverage samples at stores nationwide. In addition, the chain has adjusted its sick leave policy in response to the outbreak to allow reimbursement for employees who stay home due to symptoms. Starting Monday, March 16, and until further notice, all Trader Joe’s stores will be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., “to support our Crew Members in taking care of one another and our customers.”
In an effort to aid college students affected by the outbreak in the U.S. and Canada, U-Haul is extending its 30 days of free self-storage for new customers with a college ID at U-Haul-owned and -operated facilities. The policy, that is usually only extended to communities that have been impacted by a natural disaster, will mark the first time U-Haul is offering the deal company-wide.
The grocery chain is taking several measures in response to COVID-19. In addition to suspending free food and beverage sampling and beauty and body care product testing, the company is also working to expand free two-hour grocery delivery services to Prime Members and door drop services from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market.
RetailMeNot contributed this information