Home Depot and Lowe's announced on Friday that they will be requiring customers to wear masks in all of its stores nationwide, CNN Business reported. The two big-box retailers join Walmart, Kroger, and multiple other national chains that have instituted similar requirements this week.
In a statement, Ann-Marie Campbell, the executive vice president of stores for Home Depot, thanked customers in advance for their cooperation with the policy, which begins on Wednesday, July 22.
"We appreciate all of our associates who have been working so hard to serve our customers with the essential products they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to thank our customers for their cooperation as we work to protect everyone in our stores," Campbell said.
The company will provide masks to customers who don't already have them.
Similarly, audio announcements, floor markings and signs already encourage social distancing among shoppers, and plexiglass shields separate employees and customers. Similarly, the retail chain allows customers the opportunity to purchase their goods with minimal exposure to other customers through curbside pickup.
As USA Today noted, the vast majority of Home Depot locations are in jurisdictions where local laws already require people to wear face masks when out in public. However, the company's headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, where local law also required masks, until Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp sued the City Council and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the requirement.
Home Depot already requires employees to wear masks at all of its stores and distribution locations.
Lowe's also announced on Friday that it will be requiring face masks in all of its stores.
As WBTV reported, CEO Marvin R. Ellison announced a nationwide mask policy that goes into effect on Monday, July 20.
"For the safety of everyone in our stores, we ask that customers wear masks, and to make this new standard less restrictive, we will make masks available to those who need them," Ellison said.
Similarly to Home Depot, Lowe's already offers curbside pickup, as well as hand sanitizer in its stores.
The two retailers join an ever-growing list of businesses that are requiring customers to wear masks in all of their stores. This week, as reported by The Inquisitr, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, and Target have all announced nationwide mask policies.
However, the matter of wearing masks at stores has, in some cases, turned violent. For example, in California, a grocery store employee pepper-sprayed a combative customer who was assaulting an employee after being told to put on a mask.