Walmart, Other Retailers Begin Requiring Masks This Week

ORLANDO, Fla. — As a new week begins, more major retailers will begin requiring customers to wearing face coverings. 

What You Need To Know

  • Walmart, Lowe’s, Walgreens among retailers requiring masks Monday
  • Retailers: Hodgepodge of local mask orders creating confusion
  • Southeastern Grocers not mandating masks, fears “undue friction” 

Walmart’s mandate in its namesake stores and in Sam’s Club begins Monday, as do mask mandates at Lowe’s, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kohl’s, Walgreens and CVS.

A face covering order begins at Publix Supermarkets on Tuesday. Orders at Kroger stores and at Home Depot begin Wednesday.

Aldi’s policy begins July 27. Target’s policy does not begin until August 1.

With cases spiking in several states, many retailers have begun requiring face coverings. The Retail Industry Leaders Association, released a letter last week that it had sent to state governors, saying mask mandates were needed and the hodgepodge of requirements across the country were causing confusion. 

“Without government leadership, a small, but meaningful, segment of customers will continue to disregard private-sector warnings, placing themselves and others in harm’s way by shopping without a mask or face covering,” said the letter, signed by the CEOs of 21 major companies, including Auto Zone, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Gap, IKEA, Petco, and Petsmart.

The National Governors Association said its members were discussing the letter and others like it from different retail groups.

Another CEO who signed the letter was Anthony Hucker, who runs Southeastern Grocers, which includes Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo and Harveys. On Thursday however, a spokesperson from Southeastern Grocers told Spectrum News that it would not be requiring face coverings in stores, except where local mandates required it. 

“Currently, we are adhering to all local safety mandates within each of our stores and strongly encouraging those who are medically able to wear a face covering to do so. We do not want to cause undue friction between our customers and associates by regulating mask mandates, and we strongly encourage state officials to lead the way in regulating these type of safety mandates,” the statement said. 

Other businesses that have already require masks include Trader Joe’s, Apple, Best Buy, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Costco, and Starbucks.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.