Walmart Adds Changes to Stores Amid COVID-19

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Walmart is joining other big box chains nationwide to change the way shoppers navigate stores amid concerns about COVID-19.

Effective Saturday, April 4 Walmart will limit the number of customers in stores.

“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,” said Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Walmart U.S., in a press release. “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.”

Going forward Walmart stores will not allow more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time. To enforce this restriction, store employees will mark a queue at a single-entry door where customers will be admitted one-by-one and counted.

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

“We’ll also institute one-way movement through our aisles next week in a number of our stores, using floor markers and direction from associates,” Smith added. “We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop.”

In recent weeks, Walmart has implemented several changes in an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while remaining open to customers. For example, stores are closed overnight for cleaning and restocking and sneeze guards and social distance markers have been installed.

The store has also started temperature checks for employees and making gloves and masks available to workers who want them.

“We’ll continue to put signage inside our stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing – especially in lines,” said Smith. “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.”

Arkansas-based Walmart has 4,756 stores throughout the United States as of January 31. Its store in Natomas is located at 3661 Truxel Road.

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