WebMD News Brief

Walmart Limits Customers Again; Grocers Limit Items

walmart storefront

Nov. 16, 2020 -- As coronavirus cases continue to surge across the country, Walmart is monitoring and counting the number of customers entering each store again, according to CNBC.

This weekend, the retail chain resumed its policy from April, which restricts capacity to five customers for every 1,000 square feet, or about 20% of normal capacity. The company stopped counting for a few months but decided it was time to physically watch the number of people entering and leaving stores once again.

“We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time, our stores didn’t reach our self-imposed 20% metering capacity,” a Walmart spokesman told CNBC by email. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores.”

Several major grocery companies have also placed limits on some items again, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Kroger and Publix have reinstated their limits on bath tissue and paper towels, CNBC reported.

Giant Food is limiting toilet paper and paper towels, and Wegmans has placed limits on paper towels, household cleaners, and disinfecting wipes.

Grocery stores and retail chains are trying to anticipate safety measures and policies during the holiday season. Before Thanksgiving, people may rush to stores for last-minute food items and not follow typical public health precautions.

After Thanksgiving, people may want take part in traditional Black Friday sales, which will happen in a new way this year. Walmart, for instance, will host three sales events to break up the number of people in a store at one time.

“We’ve been very thoughtful as we planned this year’s event,” Scott McCall, the executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a statement. “By spreading deals out across multiple days and making our hottest deals available online, we expect the Black Friday experience in our stores will be safer and more manageable for both our customers and our associates.”

WebMD Health News Brief

Sources

CNBC: “Walmart resumes counting customers in stores and grocers reinstate limits on toilet paper as coronavirus cases surge.”

Walmart: “Walmart Announces ‘Black Friday Deals for Days,’ a Reinvented Black Friday Shopping Experience.”

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