In further efforts to keep employees and customers safe, Walmart stores have implemented more safety measures. Those include designated sanitation associates, and social distancing guides.
According to Walmart’s website, designated associates are cleaning high-traffic, high-touch areas, like checkouts and shopping carts every day. Stores have also installed sneeze guards in the pharmacy and register lanes, and floor decals at both the entrances and checkouts.
“We’re using a single, clearly designated entrance and another clearly designated exit at each store to help maintain social distancing and lessen the instances of people closely passing each other,” stated Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S. “We’re also limiting the number of people in a store at once to allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.”
The retail giant has reportedly expanded paid leave policies, implemented employee temperature checks and made gloves and masks available to their associates. All of this coupled with altered hours of operation in order to clean and restock items.
“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 added. “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.”
Earlier in the month, Walmart stores began limiting the number of customers in the store at one time. With this policy, there can be 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 store has a marked queue at a single-entry door, where shoppers are admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning. Once the store reaches its capacity, customers are admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.
Lastly, one-way movement through the aisles has also been instituted in most stores. “We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop,” Smith added. “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.”