Tile Outlets of America Statement Regarding Response to COVID-19
TO OUR CUSTOMERS & FRIENDS:
We hope this message finds you safe and healthy during this coronavirus pandemic. From the beginning of the outbreak, expectations and rules seemed to change daily and sometimes even hourly and Tile Outlets of America has adapted accordingly. We want to update you on actions Tile Outlets of America has taken during this outbreak to protect the safety of our associates and customers.
Throughout the pandemic, we have focused intently on the health and safety of our store associates and customers. We rapidly adopted guidelines set by the CDC, state and local health agencies and have implemented the following measures:
- We continually practice safe distancing procedures among associates and between associates and customers
- We restrict access to the stores at times to ensure anyone shopping or working in the store can do so while maintaining a safe distance
- We require that any employee who feels sick or who has identified possible exposure to remain at home
- We posted signs at store entrances reminding any customer who has any symptoms of coronavirus not enter our stores
- We reduced staffing to minimize the number of people in any part of a store at one time
- We insist on frequent hand washing and sanitizing by our associates, we provide sanitizing wipes throughout the stores, and we sanitize cashier stations and countertop surfaces after each customer transaction
- We provide alternative touch-free payment methods and curb-side pickup for orders or samples
- We encourage shopping online at tileoutlets.com, by virtual appointment, by phone, or by limited contact appointment
- We segregate returns to a restricted area of the store and do not return re-sellable items to stock for 3-5 days to minimize the chance of virus spread on surface areas
- We reduced store hours to give our associates more time to be “safer at home” and take care of personal needs
Below we have presented some of the most frequent questions we have been hearing during this time along with our responses. If you have any other questions, please call your closest TOA store.
These are difficult times and we wish everyone the best. Our operating hours for each store will be updated on tileoutlets.com with an easy link at the top of the homepage. We will continue to operate as long as we can maintain a safe and healthy shopping experience for our customers and our associates.
CEO, Tile Outlets of America
President & CFO, Tile Outlets of America
Frequently Asked Questions about Shopping at Tile Outlets during COVID-19
Q: Florida is under a state-wide “Stay-at-Home Order”. Why is Tile Outlets of America operating?
A: Tile Outlets of America is considered an essential business under guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Our stores primarily sell hardware and building materials and we support the supply chain of building materials. We have adjusted our operating hours and staffing to meet the essential needs of the industry.
Q: How do you suggest shopping for floor tile or LVT online?
A: We have a fantastic room visualizer tool online at tileoutlets.com/visualizer. Many of the floor tiles displayed on our website have a “See This On My Floor” feature that can use a picture of your room and replaces the existing floor with the item you are looking at to simulate what it would look like, without removing any of your existing furniture. Some find this augmented reality feature magical.
Q: I really want to see what I am buying first. How can I do that?
A: We understand that floor and wall coverings have dimensional and texture qualities that don’t always show up in a picture online. Our store personnel are available by phone to discuss your project with you and make suggestions. We can even accommodate a video call to show you possibilities or if you want to show us your project space. We can help you select items and arrange curbside pickup or shipping so you can get samples home to see if they work in your space.
Q: If you are open, can I just come in?
A: We greatly encourage all customers to follow governmental orders to restrict movement and keep a safe physical distance from others. We remain open primarily to supply building materials to the construction industry and trade professionals. If you have a project that needs to be completed, we are certainly here to help. We just ask that you respect and comply with the guidelines we are operating under to keep our associates and customers safe. Be aware that we may restrict access at times to ensure anyone shopping or working in the store can do so while maintaining a safe distance. If you have any illness at all or have been exposed to anyone having symptoms of COVID-19, we do respectfully request that you not enter our stores until you are no longer considered to be at risk.
Q: While I am staying at home, I would love to get a project done but don’t want to invite installers into my home. Can I do a project myself?
A: You certainly can, but it depends on the project and your ability.
Many of our products are made for the do-it-yourselfer (DIY) and we have the tools you need to get it done. Our store associates can be a resource to help guide you through this. You can also search our online blog at tileoutlets.com/blog for specific project ideas and how-to information. There are also many good videos online that will get you through the steps of most common household projects.
For bigger projects, you may want to check with local installers to determine if you are comfortable with the steps they are taking to stay safe and protect customer’s homes. Many installers will wear masks and gloves and take additional precautions to ensure that their employees are healthy before entering any homes.
Of course, this may be a good time to use installers for outdoor projects like feature walls with ledger stone, patios, and pools.
Q: Is it safe to buy flooring products made in Spain, Italy, Brazil, and China where there are many reported cases of COVID-19?
A: Yes. According to the CDC and NIH, transmission to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.
Transmission of coronavirus, in general, occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through formities, or inanimate surfaces. Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 may remain viable for hours to several days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.
The product that we import from factories overseas generally do not come in contact with persons from the time of production until they are received in our stores. The material is usually boxed and moved by robotic machinery and placed in cargo containers by forklifts. The products remain containerized for 14 to 60 days or more before unloading which suggests they wouldn’t present any risk as a result of their country of origin.