Walmart limits number of customers in stores

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With states and municipalities setting varying policies regarding crowd control, Walmart has limited the number of customers who can be in its stores during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Starting Saturday (April 4), no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet will be allowed in a store at one time, officials announced Friday. That equates to roughly 20% of a store’s capacity.

The plan is for associates to mark a queue at a single-entry door and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a one-out-one-in basis.

“While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people,” said Dacona Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. “We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines.”

Walmart last month shortened store hours in response to the virus outbreak. The company also set purchase limits on certain items and added a weekly senior-only shopping event.