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Wednesday, Jun. 3, 2020

Walmart limits number of store shoppers

VW independent/submitted information

Beginning Saturday, Walmart stores will begin limiting how many people are allowed inside at one time, reducing its capacity to roughly 20 percent, as a way to enforce social distancing. 

The retail giant joins Target, Costco, and other supermarket chains in deciding to count and restrict the number of visitors to keep shoppers at least six feet apart — from each other and from the workers — hoping to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

“While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people,” Walmart’s Dacona Smith said in a post on Friday

Smith, chief operating officer of Walmart U.S., also cited states and cities setting “varying policies regarding crowd control.”

Walmart says it will allow no more than five shoppers per 1,000 square feet of space at a given time. 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.

Retailers have been urging people to go shopping as rarely as possible, in the smallest groups possible, and as quickly as possible. Supermarkets remind patrons to keep a distance from others both while shopping and while standing in line.

Walmart says it will begin using only one entryway at each store, keeping track of visitors and reminding them to stay a proper distance while they wait to go in, especially before the store opens in the morning. 

Walmart previously said it would also switch to one-way aisles to keep shoppers moving efficiently and away from each other. It’s also one of many retailers that have been limiting their store hours and designating special “senior shopping hours” for vulnerable customers.

POSTED: 04/03/20 at 9:01 pm. FILED UNDER: News