Walmart places new limits on number of shoppers allowed inside

Beginning Saturday, no more than 5 customers will be allowed in for every 1,000 square feet

File photo
File photo (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Walmart has begun imposing new limits on the number of customers allowed inside its stores at a time.

Starting on Saturday, Walmart locations will allow no more than five customers inside for every 1,000 square feet of the building, or approximately one-fifth of the average store’s capacity.

Making a trip to Walmart looks different these days. On the on intercoms in the parking lot, customers can hear: “We are working hard to make everyday life easier for you.” The message continues, “We have adjusted our store hours to make it easier for associates to stock and perform enhanced cleaning and sanitizing across the store.”

“We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop,” Walmart Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith stated in the announcement.

Here’s how it will work: employees are setting up queues at store entrances. Then they will let people inside based on the new guidelines. Once a store reaches capacity, incoming shoppers will only be allowed to enter when another shopper checks out and leaves.

"They are trying to maintain social distancing," a Dwayne Carlan, shopper. "There ain't no crowding trying to get in and out."

As part of the effort, the retail chain is making aisles one-way in a number of stores with floor markers and employees in place to direct traffic. There will also be more signs installed in stores reminding shoppers to maintain a safe distance from one another.

“There are some shortages and all in all but they are trying to do their best,” Carlan said.

Earlier in the week, Walmart said it will begin taking workers’ temperatures at stores and warehouses before they begin their shifts. The retailer will also make medical masks and gloves available for employees who want to wear them.

To learn more about the changes, visit Walmart’s website.

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