Sam's Club Just Announced A Big Safety Change For Members

Costco may have gotten plenty of flack from members when it decided to require shoppers to wear a mask to visit the store, but the company now appears to have been way ahead of the game, as Sam's Club prepares to require all its shoppers to wear face coverings starting Monday, July 20. The policy change comes just days after Doug McMillon the CEO of its sister company, Walmart, admitted that the mandate was "obviously something that's on our minds." 

Sam's Club's decision to adopt the face mask requirement comes as more people around the country are falling ill and testing positive for the virus. And while it may not be the first company to do so (other than Costco, Starbucks now requires all their customers to wear face masks), University of Arkansas business professor Alan Ellstrand thinks Walmart and Sam's Club calls for face masks may be the most significant. "Walmart has a great deal of influence in this regard. It may signal to the public that if a large retailer like Walmart supports requiring customers to wear a mask, it is good for Americans to do so more broadly as well," he told CNN

Sam's Club is hoping customers will understand the need for a mask requirement

Sam's Club knows enforcing the mask requirement will be a challenge. In a company blog post, the COOs of both companies, Lance de la Rosa (Sam's Club) and Dacona Smith (Walmart) said, "We know it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. Our associates will be trained on those exceptions to help reduce friction for the shopper and make the process as easy as possible for everyone." As such, Sam's Club associates will be stationed at the entrance to remind members that they cannot enter without a mask, and they will provide complimentary masks if a shopper doesn't have one. Members will also be given the option to buy face masks inside the store.

"We know some people have differing opinions on this topic. We also recognize the role we can play to help protect the health and well-being of the communities we serve by following the evolving guidance of health officials like the CDC," de la Rosa and Smith said. They also called on members to cooperate with the requirement for the safety of other members, and that of their associates.