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Walmart's CEO won't commit to requiring masks in all stores — but says it's 'on our minds' (WMT)

July 14th 2020, 5:12:59 pm

Very few national retail chains have instituted mask requirements in stores as coronavirus cases skyrocket in the US.

  • Walmart's CEO told Bloomberg on Monday that masks are currently required in about 3,700 of the chains 11,00+ stores where local officials have instituted those rules.
  • As for the rest, "it's obviously something that's on our minds," CEO Doug McMillan said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

Walmart shoppers are required to wear masks in states that have mandated them, but the largest US retail chain has so far held off on a blanket face-covering rule.

Asked on Bloomberg TV by David Rubenstein if he would be required to wear a mask in a store today, CEO Doug McMillon said "you would be in about 3,700 locations where either the governor or someone else has mandated it."

But for the other roughly 8,000 stores, "we don't currently, as we're doing this interview, mandate that," he said, adding that "it's obviously something that's on our minds."

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Earlier in July, Starbucks , Costco , and Apple led the charge, with all three national retailers among the first to require all customers wear masks or other face coverings in their stores.

Luckily, McMillon says, Walmart has succeeded in keeping case counts as low as possible among employees thanks to increased cleaning schedules, masks, plexiglass shields, floor markings, and more.

"We have had cases as you would expect with any hotspot," he told Bloomberg.

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"So far, on a per capita basis," he continued, "both on case count and fatalities, we are well below the numbers that we were seeing at state, county, or national levels."

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Graham Rapier

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