OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Walmart released information Friday regarding changes that will affect shoppers nationwide starting Saturday, April 4.
This, coming amid the coronavirus pandemic as we near its projected peak.
Walmart representatives released the following statement describing the changes:
“To promote health, safety and consistency for our associates and customers in this environment, we’re taking some further steps for our U.S. stores:
Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent 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. We’ll also institute one-way movement through our aisles next week in a number of our stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop. We’ll continue to put signage inside our 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. We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home.”
Outside the doors of Walmart, carts with yellow tape on them lined the areas where the entrance will be starting Saturday.
“It looks a little interesting, but I understand,” said Isabella Campbell, a local shopper.
Several Oklahoma shoppers said they agree with the changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I definitely think it’s good,” said Chase Loper, a local shopper.
“This isn’t like a permanent thing, so you kind of have to take risks and make hard decisions,” Campbell said.
Some shoppers are even coming out early, like Mark Lewandowski. The former first responder in Chicago said he wanted to get out before the possible rush to the store.
“We figured yeah, let’s get our grocery shopping done now before we’re standing outside and waiting for 30 minutes,” he said.
It’s not clear how long the changes will last. The Supercenter has also limited its store hours. Every Tuesday, the first hour of business is devoted only to shoppers over the age of 60.