By Joshua Huff, sports editor
Walmart will limit its store capacity to 20% beginning on Saturday as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The retail chain announced the decision in a release from Dacona Smith, Walmart’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, on Friday.
“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,” Smith wrote in the post. “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. We’re also seeing states and municipalities set varying policies regarding crowd control – which has created some confusion regarding shopping.”
Stores will now only allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time. Each store will coordinate the move by creating a queue at one entrance for arriving customers. Associates will count customers until the store reaches capacity, thereafter, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.
Smith added that Walmart will also institute one-way movement through the aisles starting next week. Associates will place floor markers and guide customers through the store.
“We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop,” Smith said. “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. 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.”