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Grocers Set Purchase Limits, Walmart Restricts In-Store Customers As COVID Cases Rise

Retailers around the country are reinstating measures intended to counter the spread of COVID-19, CNBC reported.

At Walmart stores, employees have resumed keeping track of how many shoppers are in stores at the same time, according to the report.

“We know from months of metering data in our stores that the vast majority of the time our stores didn’t reach our self-imposed 20 percent metering capacity,” a Walmart spokesman said, according to CNBC. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have resumed counting the number of people entering and leaving our stores.”

Earlier this month, CNBC reported, grocers Kroger and Publix imposed limits on purchases of toilet paper and paper towels. Giant Food also recently put similar caps in place. Wegmans imposed limits on purchases of paper towels and some cleaning supplies.

In October, retailers were stocking up on the sorts items customers hoarded during the first round of pandemic-related shutdowns — masks, paper goods and other household items among them.

Some major retailers reported in early November that they had begun limiting purchases proactively before shortages could materialize.

Walmart announced via Twitter in October that on Saturday (Nov. 14) its anti-COVID-19 efforts would include extending the hours of some Neighborhood Market stores.

“This will give customers more time to shop and help us disperse traffic throughout the day,” the tweet stated.

Walmart also is spreading out its Black Friday deals to avoid congestion, executives said in October.

“Customers trust Walmart to deliver an amazing Black Friday year after year,” Scott McCall, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Walmart U.S., said in a prepared statement. “Although this year’s event looks different, our commitment to what our customers depend on us for — the absolute best prices of the season on hot gifts from top brands — hasn’t changed.”

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