Lowe’s, Target Begin Metering Customer Traffic To Assist With Social Distancing

UPDATE: BJ’s Wholesale Club has also announced additional health and safety measures. Its efforts include temperature checks and the availability of masks and gloves for team members; new social distancing and capacity limits at its stores, including signage, spaced checkout queues and overhead audio announcement; and a $500,000 donation from BJ’s Charitable Foundation to local hospitals.

Lowe’s and Target are stepping up efforts to protect shoppers and associates by restricting the number of customers that can enter their stores at once, among other new measures. Both retailers will begin limiting customer traffic on a store-by-store basis, based on square footage, local and CDC guidelines and other factors.

Lowe’s traffic metering operations will be handled through an app that lets workers and managers monitor foot traffic. Some associates will be assigned as “social distancing ambassadors” and become responsible for monitoring customer flow in both garden centers and front-end areas, as well as enforcing customer limits to allow proper social distancing. The retailer also has made some changes to its store layouts, including:

  • Removing products from the main aisle to help maintain safe distances;
  • Removing racking and tables in other aisles to open up space;
  • Expanding the area for returns and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) purchases; and
  • Adding floor markers spaced  six feet apart to help guide customers.

The retailer also will increase all store, contact center and supply chain associates’ pay by $2 per hour for the month of April. Additional safety precautions include the installation of Plexiglass shields at every POS station; the distribution of masks and gloves to all employees; and chainwide store closures at 7 p.m. to give workers time to properly clean and disinfect the store.


Target will provide a designated waiting area outside affected stores with social distancing markers and a dedicated associate to ensure proper procedures are followed. This effort is in addition to previously implemented safety programs like contactless payment options and Plexiglass partitions at registers.

Additionally, the retailer is providing face masks and gloves to all workers in its stores and warehouses to enhance their safety. Target also plans to donate an additional 2 million KN95 respirator masks to the medical community.

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