As we reported on our sister outlet KPGG-FM, Local Walmart stores began taking measures on Friday, April 3 with a “single-file policy” as the stores made preparations for a long-term battle to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Tomorrow, the stores begin limiting the number of customers allowed to shop at one time.
Going even further, Walmart stores will begin limiting customers tomorrow on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.
To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.
Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.
Shopping Inside the Store
We’ll also institute one-way movement through our aisles next week in a number of our stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop.
We’ll continue to put signage inside our stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing – especially in lines. 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.
We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, our leaders and operations teams will continue to listen to advice from medical experts, associates and customers, and consider how we can best serve people while helping slow the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our associates and customers is what matters the most.
Sam’s Club will also be executing policy changes for Club Shoppers:
Additional Support for Social Distancing
Sam’s Club is taking extra steps to support social distancing in the clubs. In addition to visual markers to support the 6’ guidance, we are also encouraging members to limit to no more than two people per membership enter the club at one time.
Your health and our associates’ health are our top priority. We’ve asked any associate who feels unwell to stay home, and we’ve set a new policy to support any associate who may be affected by the virus—including paid leave for any associate who needs to self-quarantine. As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, we’ve decided to begin taking the temperatures of our associates as they report to work. Any associate with a temperature of 100.0 degrees will be sent home, asked to seek medical treatment if necessary, and told to not return to work until they are fever-free for at least 3 days. Also while the CDC, Walmart, and other health officials do not recommend masks or gloves for healthy people who don’t ordinarily use them for their jobs, we will make them available—as supplies permit—for associates who want to wear them. The masks will begin arriving this week.
We shifted all club opening hours to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. This is to ensure our associates have ample time to restock, clean and sanitize each club, and to provide you the best possible experience. Our Sunday hours will remain 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prescheduled Club Pickup orders will still be available for pickup starting at 7 a.m.
*Please contact your club for verification as new government mandates could impact this information.
Special Shopping Hours & Concierge Service
Starting Thursday, March 26, Sam’s Club locations nationwide will offer early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems. This includes our Pharmacy and Optical Centers and will last until further notice.
During special shopping hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., these members can shop Sam’s Club without ever leaving their car. From a designated parking location, members in need can place their order from their car. Then, a Sam’s Club associate will grab the items on the list, and the member will use Scan & Go to check out.
Beginning Thursday, March 26, Optical Centers will operate 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., except for Tuesday and Thursday, when they will be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. At this time, the Optical Centers will provide essential services only, such as repairing glasses and helping customers pick up existing orders. We will have at least one associate available to serve the needs of our Optical members, while the other Optical associates will help support other essential areas in the rest of the club.
Hearing Aid Center
Sam’s Club updated its Hearing Aid Center hours to align with the current priorities of our members. Most Hearing Aid Centers will be closed Mondays and open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, Friday’s and Saturdays they will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Sundays.
We continue to work around the clock to restock many of the key items we know your families need right now. Currently, we are limiting a number of items to one item per member to ensure more of our members have access to the products they need.
To help ensure we can get you the items you ordered, we’re reducing the time which members can order ahead for pickup from five days to one. If your nearby Sam’s Club does not have available times to place an order, please continue to check back with us – new time slots open every morning.
Due to high demand, Club Pickup may experience order delays, cancellations, or higher wait times during pickup. We’ll stay in contact with you over email, text message, website, and mobile app to alert you of any potential delays or increased wait times.
Tire & Battery Centers
We have temporarily closed our Tire & Battery Centers so that these associates can help in essential areas of the club. We will honor all existing appointments for TBC services, and special-order tires in club or on their way to the club will be installed for our members. Also, we will continue to sell tires, batteries and wiper blades on a carry out basis, with no installation.
Scan & Go
We encourage you to use our patented Scan & Go feature in our Sam’s Club app. Simply scan your items with your phone, add them to your cart, and skip the checkout line altogether.