Walmart Expands Social Distancing Measures

To promote social distancing, Walmart is taking further steps for its U.S. stores. Walmart will limit the number of customers who can be in its U.S. stores at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20% of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door, in most cases the grocery entrance, and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store, especially before it opens in the morning. Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

Walmart will also institute one-way movement through aisles next week in a number of stores, using floor markers and direction from associates.

The retailer will continue to put signage inside stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing, especially in lines. And once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered, which should help lessen the instances of people closely passing each other.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, Walmart’s leaders and operations teams will continue to listen to advice from medical experts, associates and customers, and consider how it can best serve people while helping slow the spread of the virus, the company said.

Starting April 7, the company said it will open a second door in its stores with multiple entrances to queue customers and further encourage social distancing.