Walmart, other grocers to limit store capacity amid COVID-19 spread

Walmart, other grocers to limit store capacity to amid COVID-19 spread
Posted at 5:22 PM, Apr 03, 2020

Walmart announced that starting this weekend, it will be temporarily limiting capacity in its stores to roughly 20% of locations' normal capacity in an effort to social distance customers inside the store. Stores will allow five customers for every 1,000 feet of shopping space.

Customers will be counted one by one before being allowed to enter stores.

According to Walmart, the average Walmart Supercenter is 182,000 square feet, meaning 910 customers will be permitted into an average-sized Walmart Supercenter store.

With this announcement, Walmart said that it is restricting entrance into the store to one door, generally the door closest to the grocery department. Customers will then be directed to exit out the opposite door that they entered from.

Walmart is also encourage families to limit the number of people attending shopping trips.

“We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop,” Walmart said.

Walmart also said it is adding additional signage and will have its associates directing customers to enforce social distancing guidelines.

"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," Walmart said in a statement. "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."

Also, Winn-Dixie-owned grocery stores, which include Bi-Lo, Fresco y Mas and Harveys Supermarket, announced it will be limiting capacity at its stores starting this week.

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .