On the same day that Walmart and Sam's Club announced a mandatory mask policy, the National Retail Federation is encouraging all retailers to do the same. The trade association has issued a statement for 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 coronavirus 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. 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 statement reads.
NRF said it hopes that Walmart's announcement will act as a "tipping point in this public health debate." The statement continues:
"Since the onset of the pandemic, retailers of all sizes have been on the front lines safely serving customers and supporting their communities. Stores are private businesses that can adopt policies permitted by law for the health and safety of their associates and their customers. Shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. If a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk."
Earlier this month, NRF, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and other industry groups sent a letter President Trump, Vice President Pence and governors across the country, calling on them to implement a national mask standard.