(U.S.) – Walmart is announcing plans to require masks inside all stores across the country beginning next week.
This move makes Walmart the largest retailer to mandate facial coverings as coronavirus cases continue to rise. Other chains throughout the county have initiated similar requirements including Starbucks, Best Buy, and Costco.
Officials indicate that approximately 65% of Walmart’s more than 5,000 stores, including its Sam Club locations, are in areas in which the government has mandated face coverings. The retail giant explained in the public release of the announcement that the move was made “To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face-covering starting Monday, July 20. This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage, and train associates on the new protocols.”
In addition to posting clear signage at the front of our stores, Walmart indicated it has created the role of Health Ambassador and will station them near the entrance to remind those without a mask of our new requirements. Ambassadors are expected to receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers. The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. “We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20,” officials added. To help ensure consistency with this new process, all stores will have a single entrance.
At Sam’s Clubs, associates at the entrance will follow the same process with members, politely reminding them of our requirement to wear a face-covering when shopping with us. Complimentary masks will be provided if the member doesn’t have one. Or members can purchase masks in the club.
The retail giant acknowledged not everyone will be able to wear a face mask, but assured that associates will be trained on those exceptions “to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone.”
You can read Walmart’s full announcement here.