Walmart to limit how many shoppers can enter stores as part of coronavirus response

  • In Business
  • 2020-04-03 23:18:09Z

Walmart is the latest retailer to announce it will limit the number of shoppers in its efforts to promote social distancing.

Starting Saturday, stores will "allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20% of a store's capacity," the retail giant announced Friday as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

While most Walmart stores have two entrances, stores will use a single-entry, which in most cases will be at the grocery entrance, Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Walmart U.S., wrote in a blog post.

Shoppers will be directed to the entrance "where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted," Smith said, noting store staff and signage "will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they're waiting to enter a store."

"Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a '1-out-1-in' basis," Smith said.

Coronavirus store closings: Hobby Lobby is temporarily closing all stores starting Friday night due to the coronavirus

Kids bouncing off the walls? Bounce house, trampoline, outdoor toy sales jump as families practice COVID-19 social distancing

Smith said while many customers have followed the advice of the medical community for social distancing and safety, the company has "been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people."

"We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines," Smith said, adding that some states and municipalities have set policies regarding crowd control, which has created some confusion. In Vermont, retailers such as Target, Walmart and Costco are now required to limit the sales of nonessential items to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Next week, Walmart will "institute one-way movement through our aisles" in a number of stores, Smith said, with direction from store staff and floor markers "to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop."

Walmart has made other moves in recent days, including adding sneeze guards to registers, taking employees' temperatures and enabling shoppers to pay for purchases without making contact. The retailer also has cut hours and has a dedicated weekly senior shopping hour on Tuesdays at its 5,000-plus U.S. stores for customers 60 and older.

Other retailers are also limiting the number of shoppers in stores.

Lowe's announced Thursday that it has "developed an app to implement a new customer limit protocol" that managers will use to "monitor foot traffic and limit entrance based on CDC and local guidelines."

Looking for a freezer to store your coronavirus stockpile: You're not alone in being frozen out

Senior shopping hours: Stores offer shopping time for vulnerable customers amid coronavirus: Target, Aldi, Walmart and more

Costco started limiting shoppers Friday and now will allow no more than two people to enter stores with each membership card.

Target also will monitor the number of shoppers it allows into stores starting Saturday and adding "designated waiting area outside with social distancing markers."

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Walmart to limit number of shoppers starting Saturday


More Related News

Slowly, surely, US houses of worship emerge from lockdown
Slowly, surely, US houses of worship emerge from lockdown

For the first time in two months, there was clapping, singing and fellowship inside Stithton Baptist Church in Radcliff, Kentucky, as members of the congregation returned to the sanctuary for Sunday morning services. There also were masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing. On a weekend when President Donald Trump declared houses of worship essential and asked governors to reopen them, some congregants around the country headed for their places of worship with numerous precautions in place.

As U.S. nears 100,000 coronavirus deaths, governors loosen more restrictions
As U.S. nears 100,000 coronavirus deaths, governors loosen more restrictions

With all 50 states at least partially reopened, people across the U.S. face a medley of options and restrictions for celebrating Memorial Day.

Trump golfs as wary U.S. embarks on Memorial Day weekend
Trump golfs as wary U.S. embarks on Memorial Day weekend
  • US
  • 2020-05-23 18:18:09Z

Memorial Day weekend, which culminates in gatherings to honor U.S. military dead, got off to a cautious start on Saturday, especially in rain-soaked New York, epicenter of the coronavirus crisis that has now killed more Americans than the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. A day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo allowed up to 10 people to attend ceremonies honoring America's military veterans, he took time at his news briefing on Saturday to warn that social distancing and face masks should be part of any plans to get together. Gatherings of up to 25 people were being allowed outdoors in New Jersey, although Governor Phil Murphy on Friday warned that the loosened restrictions don't...

New York
New York's Cuomo says groups of up to 10 must aim to stay 'safe'
  • US
  • 2020-05-23 17:11:13Z

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo advised people to exercise good judgment and social distancing when gathering in groups of up to 10 people as allowed in an executive order loosening restrictions issued late on Friday. In his daily briefing on Saturday, he said New York recorded 84 coronavirus deaths on May 22 compared with 109 the day before, continuing a downward trend in the state's toll from the pandemic. "You can have a safe gathering of 10 people or you can have a wholly unsafe gathering of 10 people," said Cuomo.

Trump demands churches open, despite coronavirus fears, as Memorial Day weekend begins
Trump demands churches open, despite coronavirus fears, as Memorial Day weekend begins

Memorial Day Weekend traditionally means family barbecues, road trips, crowded parks and carefree days spent basking by the water, but Americans venturing out after weeks of sheltering in place are being asked not to let up their guard as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business