Walmart and Sam’s Club announced that starting Monday, July 20, they will require shoppers to wear masks or some form of face covering at their 5,000 locations in the United States.
The news came down via press release from Dacona Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S., and Lance de la Rosa, Chief Operating Officer, Sam’s Club.
In the joint statement, Smith and de la Rosa say, “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus and priority has been and continues to be on the health and safety of our associates, members and customers. As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented.”
The statement continued, “Currently about 65 percent of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings. 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.”
Smith and de la Rosa add that Walmart has created a new Health Ambassador position, who will be featured near the front entrance of every location “to remind those without a mask of our new requirements.” The Health Ambassador will be “identifiable by their black polo shirts” and “will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”
Sam’s Club, meanwhile, will have their associates who are already located at the entrance help remind customers of their new mask policy. Complimentary masks will be available for members who don’t have one, or they have the option to purchase a mask inside Sam’s Club.
Smith and de la Rosa also note, “We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone.”
Both COO’s concluded with, “We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates.”