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NRF calls on retailers to set nationwide mask policy

People wearing masks in store

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is hoping Walmart’s decision to adopt a face covering requirement for all its stores will be a “tipping point.”

“We hope the announcement by Walmart – the world’s largest retailer – that it will be enforcing a policy requiring customers to wear a mask to shop in their stores is a tipping point in this public health debate,” NRF said in a statement encouraging all retailers to adopt a nationwide policy that requires customers to wear face coverings or masks to protect the health and well-being of customers, associates and partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“The health and safety of associates and customers is retailers' number one priority and wearing a face covering or mask is scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” the NRF stated. “The NRF applauds the leadership of companies like Walmart, Starbucks, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Apple, Qurate Retail Group, Costco and others that have implemented nationwide mask mandates.”

The NRF noted that stores are private businesses that can adopt policies permitted by law for the health and safety of their employees and customers. 

“Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right,” the NRF stated. “If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk.”

Two weeks ago, the NRF sent a letter co-signed with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and other industry groups to President Trump, Vice President Pence and governors which called for the implementation of a national mask standard.




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