Walmart to require customers to wear masks at all its stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has become the latest major retailer to require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores.

The nation’s largest retailer said the policy will go into effect on Monday to give the company time to inform stores and customers.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said that currently about 65% of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings.

The retailer also said it will create the role of health ambassador at its Walmart stores and will station them near the entrance to remind customers without masks of its new requirement.

Last week, Starbucks announced that customers who visit its company-owned café locations in the U.S. will be required to wear face coverings.

The policies at Starbucks and Best Buy went into effect Wednesday.

Only a handful of major retailers, including teen clothing chain American Eagle Outfitters and Apple, has a mask mandate for customers for all of its stores. Costco Wholesale Club was one of the first major retailers to require face coverings for customers at all of its stores. The policy went into effect in early May.

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