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Walmart Limiting Number of Shoppers to Help Reduce Spread of Coronavirus

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Walmart Shopping Process to Encourage Social Distancing

In addition to closing stores overnight for cleanings, installing sneeze guards and social distance markers and starting to make gloves and masks available to associates, Walmart is now adding new restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Starting April 4th, Walmart will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than 5 customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20% of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, associates at a store will 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 “1-out-1-in” basis.

Walmart is also instituting one-way movement through aisles in a number of their stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. 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.

Social Distancing Sign on floor

With all of these new rules, Walmart is hoping to eliminate the behavior in stores that puts undue risk on everyone. Walmart is hoping to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop and to allow for space with other customers while shopping.

Join The Discussion

Comments 54

  1. FosterMomsNeverHaveEmptyNestSyndrome

    Currently standing in a line to get into Sams- probably about 40 people/buggys deep.

    • Lisa

      I don’t understand why more people don’t use the scan and go on the app at Sam’s Club. No lines and less contact with employees.

      • frugal-fit-sexy

        Think she said just to walk in the door.

        • FosterMomsNeverHaveEmptyNestSyndrome

          Yes, that was a line to get INSIDE Sams club- I’ve been using Scan and Go since it was released~ but I definitely don’t understand why more people don’t use it as well. I haven’t stood in a checkout line in Sams for probably a year 😏

          • mel

            I don’t like scan & go b/c I don’t get a paper receipt, which I need for rebate apps. However, rebating is low on my priority list, so I will use that feature next time I hit Sam’s!

      • Jen

        The previous comment is talking about being in line outside to get into Sam’s Club. I totally agree with having more people using scan and go to minimize checkout congestion.

      • amandanicole

        I don’t think a lot of people know how to use it or realize exactly what it is… myself included I’m not the most tech savvy but I’m about to start researching it

  2. Lisha

    Love it!
    Thanks h2s for keeping us abreast, as this effects some. Stay safe and blessings.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are welcome, Lisha! Stay safe!

  3. A

    In workplace if possible to do, consider opening windows/doors to circulate air in tight spaces.

    • Laure

      Open windows aren’t going to matter, otherwise there wouldn’t be a limit of 10 or 6feet apart even outside

  4. Sheri Baby

    So this applies to Sam’s too?

  5. Angela J

    Good, thank you for this news. Wish this happened sooner! Better late than never. Two of my children are WM employees. Glad they have work, but concerned about their safety. My son apprehended a shoplifter that coughed in his face on purpose. 🙁

    • Ange

      As a mom I’m totally praying for your kids today.

      • Angela J

        Thank you so much, that means a lot.

    • Jeanette

      That’s terrible that someone coughed purposely in your sons face. My sister and daughter also work at Walmart. I hope everyone is safe.

      • Angela J

        Yes, was shocking to me! Hoping for your family’s safety too, appreciate what they do esp during this time.

    • Dani O

      I’m on the opposite side of that equation, Angela. My mom works at Walmart and I’m worried about her all the time. Not just during a pandemic but some of the difficult customers she encounters. She’s in high risk group from her medical conditions 🙁 That’s so scary to hear a third coughed in your son. Hopefully they were just trying to entice fear and your son (and your family) stay healthy.

      • Angela J

        I can imagine, I would worry too if my mom worked there. I hope the mgt and security at her store do a good job. My son has worked for Walmart for quite a few years, and they have been good to him, but being a security supervisor in a metropolitan area, he has encountered a lot of scary situations. He is a big intimidating dude, which gives me some comfort but I still think of him as my baby. This incident really upset me.

    • jen

      People who pull that crap need to go to jail! I’m so sorry that happened to your son.

      • Angela J

        I so agree, thank you for the support.

    • Melissa Rice

      So sorry to hear that Angela. This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. I hope your son has filed a complaint. That person should be prosecuted. Maybe the security cameras can help.

      • Angela J

        Thank you, yes. He said there was discussion of them prosecuting if he ends up ill. I wish they somehow would have insisted she get tested right then.

    • Kim

      That IS JUST NOT acceptable. I live in NJ and we have tens of thousands of cases and too many deaths to mention. NO one should put your son’s life at risk. Sending prayers for you and your family.

      • Angela J

        Thank you so much Kim.

  6. Rachel F.

    I got my curbside pick up yesterday and they had turned shopping carts upside down and created a long path with caution tape. They had markers every six feet on the ground in between the carts lined up. It seemed like a wise idea to utilize what they had (carts) to create a formation line. Seems like they were certainly getting ready for this!

    • Lexy

      Súper good idea

  7. DebY

    I was at Sam’s yesterday. The people wearing masks and/or gloves weren’t adhering to the 6 feet. Going past people waiting to enter an aisle.

  8. Marie

    I just hope all the stores don’t go to order pick up only. (In my area younger people don’t want to cooperate, especially in Target, and are making things very, very difficult.)

    • annie

      Oh my gosh YES…Why, oh WHY can’t people worm together for the greater good. How can we be the United States when we as individuals can’t even unite for our own good?

  9. Sarah

    I anticipate that I will no longer be shopping in the store. Don’t have time to wait hours just to get in the door. What I can’t get through grocery pick up I’ll just visit my Target or Kroger in person to get the rest.

    • Mel

      As of yesterday, I’ve decided to stop shopping at my local Walmart. They had these new guidelines in place and the negativity within the store was unreal. There were Walmart associates waiting at the end of the aisles to not so kindly bring it to someone’s attention when they were not following the rules and quickly needed to correct themselves. You can’t park your buggy and simply walk down the aisle to get what you need if it’s in the direction opposite of the arrows on the floor. And this morning, a fight broke out. It’s just not an environment I will subject myself to. If I have to get something in person that I would normally go to Walmart for, it’ll have to be Kroger for me until things calm down.

  10. Stacy

    Our store is large and will allow 1000

    • Les

      My store is small and almost 800 can be in so this limiting people is pointless.

  11. IB

    Don’t see how WM employees will actually enforce this.

    • Kathleen

      Probably like Costco is 🤷‍♀️ my local Costco limits how many people enter and leave, making sure there aren’t too many shoppers in the store at any one time

  12. Amy

    I tried to go to Walmart after work yesterday, and it was packed! The parking lot was full and no one seemed to be social distancing, so I just left. I’m glad they will be implementing some controls.

    I’ve had good luck visiting my local grocery store at off hours, like after 9 pm on weeknights. I have to dodge the guys running the floor buffer machine, but there are hardly any other customers. it isn’t always great for finding my whole list in stock, though that has gotten better recently.

  13. Eyes1227

    Here….that’s not good enough. With they ratio, our store will allow 1,015 people in at a time….still way too many. Just do you understand that ratio, we have 700 parking spots at our Walmart.

  14. queen62

    They don’t pay enough to jeopardize my life. If they want to enforce this then hire security not use your store employees. Good idea but people are on the edge as it is.

  15. HomemadeMask4Me

    I just returned from walmart and while they implemented the rules going in the store and the stickers on the floor by the checkouts, most aisles had people walking about, not caring about the social distance guidelines. There also aren’t any times available to pick up groceries, so you have to go into the store.

    • annie

      People have not seem to have heard the medical experts lately stating it can be spread from people with no symptims just by talking or they just think ‘I’m not going to get it’ …they should see some of these 20 and 30 year olds that have been on tv that almost died from it. They said it was horrifying and they didn’t take it seriously until it happened to them.

  16. Tia in FL

    My husband went this morning. Said the outside line was moving at a good pace but the checkout lines were long and people weren’t standing 6 ft apart. He said he was standing a good distance behind the person in front of him and of course, some lady tried to get in front of him saying he wasn’t in line! lol I’m expecting all the regular grocery stores (Publix/Kroger) to start something similar soon.

  17. C

    I really wish they have done this a lot sooner. I went to my local Walmart last week to pick up some much needed groceries. The store was completely crowded and not many people were social distancing. There was only 2 registers open so the lines were EXTREMELY long. I am glad that the grocery stores are still open but I am avoiding them at all cost. From now on, I will be ordering things online and doing grocery deliveries/pick up whenever possible.

    • Ms

      Which grocery stores are you able to do the online delivery? Most grocery stores in my area don’t have curb side pick up and all the delivery time slots are all sold out.

      • C

        Walmart actually does grocery delivery. The time slots gets filled up pretty quickly but if you go on the site very early in the morning you can get a delivery time for the next week. I just put everything that I need in the cart ahead of time and then I check out when there is a delivery time available. You can sign up for a free week trial for grocery delivery . After that I think the fee is $9.95 a month or something like that. I hope that helps.

  18. Shan Dan

    I think they should add extra slots for pick up at ALL grocery stores. They are always full when I try to order online!

  19. jen

    I am so glad they are being super strict…I am personally avoiding shopping there but know that for the employees and those who have no choice but to shop there, this is definitely necessary. There is a video going around of a woman who was threatening to call 911 on the Walmart she was at because her card didn’t go through. The manager was offering assistance to her to move her out of the checkout line and she coughed and spit in the managers face.

  20. butterflyprincess8

    I was just at my walmart an hour ago and it was packed with people! There was nobody waiting outside to get in. I couldn’t believe how many people were in the store!

  21. Ana

    After listening to Dr Fauci last night it really doesn’t sound like 6’ away is enough.

  22. Karen

    As a worker for Walmart, we Understand the customer frustration. However, imagine how we feel having to work and not shutdown as many other retailers. We have to risk our own lives and families to help strangers that barely appreciate the daily risk we face. Not to mention we are not given basic PPE to protect ourselves. The other option is not go to work, get fired and not be able to support our families. Everyone needs to be humane in this crisis, we are all in this together, sadly some of us don’t have the option to stay at home and fight the covid fight from our couches.

    • Vanessa

      Thank you for being there to work for everyone! I noticed that most of the workers at my Walmart did not have masks, especially elderly folks, and it made me so sad. Most people are scared to go on 1 shopping trip every week or 2, yet the workers have to be there every day. We should all be extremely grateful, I pray for your safety, and that the enployers can provide PPE.

  23. Bea

    My local Walmart is not practicing this! I think every store should have been doing this weeks ago but, as of right now NONE are—not Walmart, BJ’s, Target, Publix, Dollar General, etc, etc, etc.

  24. VB Vee

    Yesterday son took me for my monthly bill paying and stock up store runs (8 stops.) I usually have him pick up items easy to find when he pops into Kroger on his way from work. I’m thankful for him keeping us going. And extra thankful he was able to keep us going with ground beef from here.
    Anyway, first stop was to pay my storage bin, then hit the auto parts store, then Kroger (found 18 ct eggs for 99 cents, so happ. Got some other items checked off my list. No incidents at that point.
    Next up, Cox Cable (they had a sign saying there were no longer opening on Saturdays. Really. Some folks are only off on Sat. ) Guess that aren’t interested in getting paid, lol. Passed the Wegmans next door and saw that long line of folks outside. Was not going there anyway. But the Walmart I go to was the next block down.
    When I did not see a line at Walmart, I literally jumped out of the SUV and made a dash for the “Entrance Only” door. Got there just as Walmart’s Bill Pay service was getting back on line. Wow…no check cashing for lots of folks. Got some bills paid and started grocery shopping. Way too many people walking around coughing with no mask and no head into elbow action. How rude of them. One guy would turn beak red just before letting out coughs. It was like watching a thermometer rising to the point of exploding. I so had to get away from that isle. Heard someone from a distance threaten someone that was too close to them. Then the lady giving a parenting lesson to her kids. Not a place I would have had my kids at in this day and time. Well, with the worse behind me (or so I thought), I finally finished shopping and headed to the checkout. Things were going great til Mr. Talk Way Too Much joined the line. No mask…and hanging all over other shoppers things on the conveyor belt. Why the heck did he push his cart past people to just put it near the customer service area…then come back into the line to wait his checkout turn. WTHeck. He could have waited til he had checked out and then pushed his cart to the exit door like normal thinking people were doing. Icing on the cake…he commented on how he needed some pop tarts like the 48 ct box I had gotten. Well, he needed a Pop all right. Right in the kisser. Interesting how a sane person’s mind can work overtime in the virus time.
    Next stop, Post Office. Seems they no longer have 24/7 lobby hours for box holders. Glad I found that out to save unnecessary trips after hours. Next stop….Dollar Tree. No issues. And they even had single rolls of toilet tissues. Yeah….found some bleach… and other necessary items. Last stop….Aldi. I did not see any notice of quantity limits. This store was well stocked. Even had their usual selection of fresh meat available. Oh…almost forgot about the shopper that was window shopping at the vertical freezer section. Line behind her was longer than the checkout line. Interesting day. I had had enough. Will have to save Dollar General for another day. Probably when I go to pay that Cox Cable bill….unless I spend their money first, lol.
    It’s a good idea that they will be limiting the amount of shoppers allowed in. Once they put in the directional arrows…that out to get the “leisurely strollers” to put some pep in their step. May be challenging for shoppers in wheelchairs though. I hope other shoppers keep that in mind and show needed patience.

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