By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Staple shopping center of many RVers, Walmart has a big change. The company says it will require all customers coming into their stores to wear a face mask. The mandate goes into effect Monday, July 20. Since already 65 percent of its U.S. Walmart and Sam’s Club operations are in jurisdictions where masks are government-mandated, it wants to bring consistency across the brand.
“To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20,” Walmart U.S .chief operating officer Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club chief operating officer Lance De La Rosa said in a blog post Wednesday. “This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols.”
Many businesses have shied away from mandating masks. Some are fearful of angering customers who don’t want to wear one. Other companies have indicated they don’t want to put their front-line employees into the role of “enforcers.” When a mask-less customer heads in the door they worry about a reaction. Walmart is preparing for that eventuality. It’s designating certain trained employees as “health ambassadors.” “Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers,” the company said. “The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirt, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution.”
Another international chain likewise requires face masks on customers entering their stores. Starbucks says all company-owned U.S. locations have put the rule into effect. If a customer still wants their branded-brew but won’t comply with the masking rule, they can still get their java. Use the drive-up window, or order on-line and have it brought to their car in the parking lot. Or they can use the “Starbucks Delivers” service to have it brought straight to their home.
Walmart and Starbucks are not alone among big retailers who are shifting to the mask required stand. Grocery giant Kroger and clothing retailer Kohl’s have also indicated that masks will soon be a new mandatory dress code for customers. Costco stores have required masks for customers and employees since May 4. Privately owned companies are free to implement mask rules, regardless of local or state law.