Starting Monday, July 20, Walmart and Sam's Club stores nationwide will require customers to wear a face covering while shopping.
"As the number of confirmed cases has spiked in communities across the country recently, so too have the number and types of face covering mandates being implemented," Dacona Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S., and Lance de la Rosa, Chief Operating Officer, Sam’s Club, wrote in a press release.
They said close to 65% of the company's more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings.
"To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20," they stated. "This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols."
In addition to signage, the stores will have a "Health Ambassador" stationed at each entrance to ensure that customers comply with the mask mandate.
"Our ambassadors will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible for customers," Smith and Rosa stated. "The ambassadors, identifiable by their black polo shirts, will work with customers who show up at a store without a face covering to try and find a solution. We are currently considering different solutions for customers when this requirement takes effect on July 20."
Complimentary masks may be provided at Sam's Club if needed, they said.
"We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering," Smith and Rose stated. "Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone.
"We know some people have differing opinions on this topic," they added. "We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our customers and members in wearing face coverings to protect their safety and the safety of our associates."