Best Buy to Require Shoppers to Wear Masks Inside Its Stores
By Sharon Terlep
Best Buy Co. will require customers to wear face coverings
inside all U.S. stores to protect against the new coronavirus,
including in places without mask mandates.
Best Buy said its mask rule, which goes into effect on
Wednesday, will "help protect not only our shoppers and
communities, but also the tens of thousands of Best Buy employees
working to serve our customers each day."
It joins a handful of national chains, including Starbucks Corp.
and Costco Wholesale Corp., with similar mask requirements as
businesses seek to protect staff and patrons amid a surge in
coronavirus cases in many parts of the country.
There is widespread scientific and medical consensus that face
masks are critical in slowing the virus's spread. Questions over
wearing them have fueled heated political debates in the U.S. and
led to sometimes violent confrontations between retail workers
enforcing mask rules and customers who refuse to cover their
More than 135,000 Americans have died from coronavirus and the
number of new cases have hit highs in recent days, according to
data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. California's governor
this week reversed plans to reopen businesses amid a rise in the
state, ordering indoor dining and malls to close again.
Most major companies, from big-box retailers to pharmacy chains,
require masks in places where state or local governments say they
are mandatory. Some of those companies prohibit patrons from
entering without a mask, while others request customers wear one
but will still allow them in if they refuse.
A smaller number of retailers, however, have implemented
countrywide policies. Costco did so in May and became a target for
mask opponents. Apple Inc. also requires masks at all stores.
Starbucks will require masks in its company-operated U.S. stores
Target Corp. store workers ask shoppers to wear one, often
offering a mask for sale near the entrance, but are asked not to
force the issue for safety reasons, said a person familiar with the
company policy. At Walmart Inc., workers have to wear masks and
shoppers are encouraged to do so with signage.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, in a television interview Monday on
Bloomberg, said requiring masks in places without government
mandates is "obviously something that's on our minds."
Best Buy, on its website, said it would provide masks to
customers who don't have one. Small children and people unable to
wear a mask for health reasons aren't required to wear them.
"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," the company said. A
spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a question about how the
retailer plans to enforce the policy.
--Sarah Nassauer contributed to this article.
Write to Sharon Terlep at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 14, 2020 18:10 ET (22:10 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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