CLEVELAND — Several of America's largest retailers, as well as retailers in Northeast Ohio, have announced that they will begin requiring all customers to wear masks or face coverings when entering their stores.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.
These local retailers say they'll require masks, in line with CDC guidance:
Marc's will require it's customers to wear masks beginning July 20. Many of the Ohio-based grocery chain stores are in areas where masks mandates are already in place, so Carrie Leftridge, the food safety and sanitation supervisor at Marc's, says the transition should be smooth.
"They’ve all been very cooperative, our employees have been great, we couldn’t ask for much more, I’m not foreseeing any major issues," said Leftridge.
Michigan-based retailer Meijer, which operates several stores in Northeast Ohio, announced Friday that it will begin requiring all customers to wear a face mask or covering on July 20.
Customers who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face coverings are exempt.
Meijer offers home delivery and curbside pick-up options for customers who prefer not to come inside the store.
Note: This is not a complete list of local retailers requiring masks and will be updated as more announcements are made.
These are the national retailers that will require masks in their stores:
Best Buy announced on Tuesday, July 14, that it would require all customers to wear a face covering in its stores starting July 15.
The company said it will provide a face covering if a customer doesn’t have one, and small children and those unable to wear one for health reasons may enter without one.
“Any customer who has a concern about wearing a mask will be able to shop Best Buy via our website and app and choose home delivery or contactless curbside pickup, which remains in place at all our stores,” wrote Best Buy.
Costco was one of the first major retailers to require customers to wear face coverings. Its policy went into effect on May 4.
Costco’s requirement doesn’t apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition.
“We know some members may find this inconvenient or objectionable, but under the circumstances we believe the added safety is worth any inconvenience,” wrote the company. “This is not simply a matter of personal choice; a face covering protects not just the wearer, but others too.”
On Thursday, July 16, CVS announced that it would begin requiring all customer to wear face coverings when entering any of its stores starting Monday, July 20.
CVS says it would not be asking its employees to enforce the requirement. The company is asking customers to help protect themselves and those around them by listening to experts and heeding the call to wear a face covering.
"Since the pandemic began, we've done everything we can to keep people safe and healthy,” said CVS COO Jon Roberts. “This includes requiring that store employees wear face coverings and encouraging our customers to do so as well. In any community with state or local laws mandating the use of face coverings, we've made that very clear through signage and other reminders.
Dollar Tree’s policy, as of July 8, requires all customers, employees and vendors to wear a cloth face covering when inside its stores.
Beginning July 22, masks or facial coverings will be required inside Home Depot locations. In their online post, Home Depot says small children and those with a valid medical condition will be exempt from the requirement.
Home Depot will also promote physical distancing in the store with signage, PA announcements and floor markings.
On Wednesday, July 15, Kohl's said it would begin requiring masks in all its stores beginning on Monday, July 20. In the retailer's statement, it said that associates would be stationed at entrances to remind customers about the policy.
"As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, face covering mandates have grown to apply to approximately 70% of our store base, therefore we’ve made the decision to take a consistent approach across our entire store fleet. Beginning Monday, July 20, we will require all customers to wear a face covering while shopping in our stores," Kohl's wrote on its website.
On Wednesday, July 15, Kroger tweeted that it would also be adopting a mask policy at its stores, beginning July 22.
"With the increase in #COVID19 cases across the country, we are committed to doing our part to help reduce the spread of the virus," Kroger said in its release. "Starting July 22, we will require all customers in all locations to wear a mask, joining our associates who continue to wear masks."
Beginning July 20, all Lowe's stores will require customers to wear masks or facial coverings. Employees have been required to wear masks since May.
A short message on the Meijer website explains that all customers must wear a face mask or covering inside any Meijer store or Meijer express beginning July 20.
Publix announced Thursday, July 16, that it will require customers to wear face coverings while shopping in its stores starting July 21.
“With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to grow and current CDC guidance indicating face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19, we believe requiring face coverings in our stores is another way we can do our part to help protect our communities,” said Publix Director of Communications Maria Brous.
Signs announcing the new requirement will be posted at store entrances, and in-store announcements will be made. The requirement will not apply to young children and those with medical conditions who are not able to wear face coverings.
On July 15, Starbucks began requiring customers to wear facial coverings while visiting all company-owned cafes in the U.S.
“At select locations where a local government mandate is not in place, customers that may not be wearing a facial covering will have various options to order their Starbucks, including ordering at the drive-thru, curbside pickup through the Starbucks app or placing an order for delivery through Starbucks Delivers,” wrote the coffee company.
On Thursday, July 16, Target announced that it will require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of its stores starting Aug. 1. Though, children and those with underlying medical conditions are exempt.
"This builds on the more than 80% of our stores that already require guests to wear face coverings due to local and state regulations," wrote Target in a statement. "Given the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the role masks play in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, our store team members also already wear masks when they come to work, which we provide for them."
To help its customers, Target says it will be providing disposable masks at store entrances to guests who don't have one. It will also be adding signage, overhead audio reminders and stationing team members at entrances to remind guests to wear masks.
Trader Joe’s policy stops short of a requirement, but says, “We request all customers wear a face covering while shopping in our stores.”
Verizon says on its website that its “customers are required to wear cloth face coverings.”
On Wednesday, July 15, Walmart and Sam’s Club announced that they will require customers and members to wear face coverings in their stores and clubs starting July 20. Hours later, Kroger said it would be instituting mask requirements at all locations beginning July 22.
In Walmart's release, the company said that about 65% of its 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings.
Company leaders say the mandate will bring consistency across store and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the United States.At Sam’s Club, complimentary masks will be provided if members don’t have one, or members can purchase masks in the club.
Click here to learn more from the CDC about wearing face masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Whole Foods says it’s “requesting” that all of its customers wear masks while shopping in its stores to protect the health and safety of its workers and communities.
The company will be providing face masks at the entrance of all stores for customers who don’t have their own face coverings.