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Target Joins Walmart With Nationwide Face Mask Requirement

The bullseye chain puts the cherry on top of a week of new retail mask mandates.

Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock
Nicole Glass Photography/Shutterstock

Target or Walmart? Up until recently I'd have said Target is superior, because the store is generally easier on the eyes. But when Walmart announced its new mask mandate on Wednesday, I quickly broke my allegiance to beauty -- for about 12 hours -- until the bullseye retailer announced its own mask requirement, effective August 1. 

We've seeing a flurry of major mask mandates recently, like those of Best Buy, Kohl's, CVS, Kroger, Sam's Club, and Starbucks (which has locations at Targets across the US). Most statements follow a similar pattern of recognizing opposing view points while still asserting that the companies are committed to safety and following federal guidelines.

In a statement acquired by CNN, a representative for Target said that employees will provide customers with disposable masks at location entrances. There was no mention of an equivalent to Walmart's "safety ambassador" all-black uniforms, however, but there will hopefully be some sort of employee safety/deescalation training happening in the weeks leading up to the mandate. Disney is using storm troopers, for heaven's sake.  

Many of the aforementioned companies already have a decent percentage of stores requiring masks upon entry. The Chief Operating Officers of Walmart and Sam's Club, for example, wrote in their joint statement that about 65% of their more than 5,000 stores and clubs already have mask mandates. And now, Target is also suggesting that its nationwide mandate is only covering a remaining base or two. 

"This builds on the more than 80% of our stores that already require guests to wear face coverings due to local and state regulations," the rep told CNN. 

So, let us all wear masks and make our nation a safer place... there's really, really, really no excuse to go mask-less on your trip to buy hand sanitizer. 

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer at Thrillist. Send your tips to randerson@thrillist.com.