Crowd control at grocery stores has become a hot topic, due to social distancing concerns and worries over COVID-19 community transmission. States and municipalities are establishing different standards for stores, creating a patchwork of rules regarding social distancing and crowd regulation.
Walmart is establishing its own rules to limit the number of customers per store.
Starting Saturday, April 4, Walmart stores will restrict the number of customers to no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet at one time. Customers will form a queue, and Walmart associates will be admitted one-by-one and counted as they entered.
When stores reach their designated capacity, customers will be allowed in one-at-a-time when another customer exits.
In a letter to associates, Walmart U.S. executive vice president and chief operating officer Dacona Smith advises those visiting stores to limit the number of people they bring with them shopping and to practice social distancing.
“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. 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,” he said.
Walmart will also be making its aisles one-way next week in an effort to prevent customers from coming too close together. The retailer will be using floor markers and Walmart associates to help drive traffic.
There will also be new entrance and exit strategies implemented. Walmart will be directing customers to exit through a different door than they enter in order to reduce the likelihood of customers passing close by each other.