Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks Join Retailers Mandating Face Coverings In-Store

Three major retailers are taking steps that acknowledge the ongoing danger of spreading coronavirus in communities across the country. Walmart, Best Buy and Starbucks are mandating face coverings for both employees and customers. Walmart’s rule, which also applies to Sam’s Club, goes into effect July 20; Best Buy and Starbucks will require masks beginning July 15.

Several other large retailers, including Costco, Dollar Tree, Apple and AT&T already require face coverings for both employees and customers in their stores, according to AARP.

“Currently about 65% of our more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is some form of government mandate on face coverings,” wrote Walmart U.S. COO Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club COO Lance de la Rosa in a blog post. “To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20.”

The post noted that Walmart has created the role of Health Ambassadors, who will be stationed at the single entrance to stores. These employees, 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.”


Best Buy will provide face coverings for customers who arrive without a mask, and “small children and those unable to wear one for health reasons may enter without one,” according to a post on the Best Buy blog. The retailer is continuing to offer home delivery and contactless curbside pickup in all its stores.

At Starbucks, for customers without masks who visit locations where local government mandates are not in place, the retailer will offer options including drive-thru, curbside pickup through the Starbucks app or placing orders for delivery through Starbucks Delivery.

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