Wal Mart institutes new shopping policies

Published 9:22 pm Friday, April 3, 2020

Starting Saturday (April 4), all Wal Mart locations will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once.

According to information found at www.walmart.com, the stores will allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.

Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

Company officials encouraged customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop.

Wal Mart will also institute one-way movement through the aisles next week in a number of its stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. They expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop.

There will be signage inside the stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing – especially in lines. And once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered, which should help lessen the instances of people closely passing each other.

“We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize,” said Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S. “We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home.

“As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, our leaders and operations teams will continue to listen to advice from medical experts, associates and customers, and consider how we can best serve people while helping slow the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our associates and customers is what matters the most,” Smith concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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