Walmart adds plexiglass shields at all stores, ‘as our associates continue their heroic work’

Walmart (Getty Images)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, Publix and other major grocery stores are adding physical barriers to keep customers and employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

In press releases, both Walmart and Kroger officials shared that temporary plexiglass sneeze guards would be added to pharmacy lanes and checkout counters.

Walmart shared the news Tuesday, March 24, confirming that the plexiglass shields would be installed at store registers all locations across the country in the next two to three weeks. The company will also be installing the barriers at both Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy lanes during the same time period.

Kroger officials, operating several regional chains such as Ralphs, Smith’s and others, also said they would be adding the sneeze guards on Tuesday to the company’s more than 2,700 stores in the coming weeks, USA Today reported.

Publix officials, too, announced this week they would be installing the guards at store registers.

Albertsons officials, with supermarket chains including Safeway, Shaws, Star Market and Acme, among others, already started installing the plexiglass barriers to its checkouts at its 2,200 locations. Installation was reportedly expected to be completed by the end of March.

In addition to the sneeze guards meant to protect both customers and employees, the major grocery store chains also implemented social distancing tools by installing floor decals and waiting points designed to keep people six feet away from each other.

“Over the coming days and weeks, we are installing floor decals in our stores at both the entrances and in checkout lanes, making it easier for customers to judge the proper social distance from each other,” a press release from Walmart read.

On Monday, Albertsons officials shared they would be installing designated waiting points via floor markers, to be located throughout the store, and especially places where people congregate, e.g., checkout stands, the bakery and deli section, and the pharmacy.

“We have seen our customers begin to implement social distancing on their own with our ‘two carts apart’ reminders as they shop our stores, so we think our floor markers will increase awareness,” said Vivek Sankaran, president & CEO of Alberstons brands.

The floor markers will be rolling out in stores in the coming weeks, as well.

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