Major U.S. businesses including Starbucks, Walmart and McDonald’s are requiring their customers to wear face masks when entering their stores amid the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s helping to promote the use of facial coverings among the general public as a whole. Industry Intelligence Consumer Products Analyst Nevin Barich takes a “Deep Dive” into this growing trend. July 24 — McDonald's to now require that customers wear face masks when entering its US stores, effective Aug. 1; fast-food chain also adding protective panels to the front and back of house and pausing dining room re-openings for an additional 30 days July 23 — Southwest Airlines CEO says mask wearing in public during a pandemic should not be only for air travel; mask mandate should be just like 'you have to wear pants' July 23 — Among Florida voters, 62% think sending students to elementary, middle and high schools in the fall will be unsafe, 57% say reopening colleges and universities is unsafe; 79% support statewide mask requirement: survey July 23 — Ingles Markets announces it will require all customers to wear face coverings its stores to mitigate spread of the coronavirus July 21 — Panera Bread, Noodles & Co. announce plans to formally require that all guests wear masks when entering each restaurant; Panera's face mask policy already in effect, Noodles' policy goes into effect July 22 July 21 — Office Depot starts requiring customers to wear masks in its stores, sends memo to employees outlining how to avoid aggressive confrontations with shoppers who are not wearing masks, including remaining calm and not frowning or crossing their arms July 21 — Gap to require masks in its US Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix and Janie and Jack stores beginning Aug. 1 July 20 — Bed Bath & Beyond to require customers to wear masks or face coverings in its stores beginning July 24 July 20 — Aldi becomes the latest retailer in the US to make masks mandatory for all its customers nationwide to help curb the spread of COVID-19 July 17 — Walgreens joins other major US retailers in requiring customers to wear face masks in its stores to help prevent further spread of COVID-19 July 17 — Meijer to require customers to wear face masks or face coverings in all of its stores beginning July 20 July 16 — Publix to require customers to wear face coverings in all stores starting July 21, citing CDC guidance that masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19 July 16 — CVS Health announces it will require all customers in its stores to wear face coverings, effective July 20 July 16 — Target joins a list of the nation's largest retailers that will require customers to wear masks, effective Aug. 1; more than 80% of Target's 1,800 stores already required customers to wear masks due to local and state regulations July 16 — Kroger to require shoppers to wear face masks inside its stores starting July 22 as COVID-19 cases soar across the US July 15 — Walmart to require customers to wear face coverings at all US Walmart and Sam's Club locations beginning July 20, says it will station 'health ambassadors' at store entrances to remind customers of the new requirement July 15 — Best Buy to require customers to wear face coverings at all of its US stores, even in areas that do not mandate mask-wearing in public places July 9 — Wearing face masks cuts chance of COVID-19 infection by 65%, says researcher at California's UC Davis; research falls in line with studies that show airborne COVID-19 can be infectious, researchers say July 9 — Starbucks to require customers and employees to wear face masks when they enter its US stores beginning July 15 June 29 — Business Roundtable member survey finds nearly all CEOs are promoting face coverings, actively encouraging sick employees to stay home, protecting vulnerable employees through supportive policies and practices; 95% have expanded flexible work arrangements June 26 — A projected 33,000 American lives could be saved by October if 95% of the population wears masks in public, according to University of Washington researchers; 14 states currently require masks be worn in indoor public settings such as retail, food service
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