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Walmart in Williston is one of the box stores closing off non-essential sections of its store to comply with governor’s order to not offer non-essential goods. Photographed April 1, 2020. (Photo: APRIL BARTON/FREE PRESS)

Large Vermont retailers such as Target, Walmart and Costco are now required to limit the sales of non-essential items in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The directive was announced by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development on Tuesday. The agency hopes it will reduce the overall number of people going into stores to purchase items such as clothing, electronics and toys during the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.

“Large ‘big box’ retailers generate significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location,” said Lindsay Kurrle, secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development in a news release.