Coronavirus fact check: Has Walmart adopted ‘staggered shopping’ days based on age?

Coronavirus fact check - Are ‘staggered shopping’ days at Walmart real?

Walmart officials are pushing back against a viral social media meme that claims Walmart and Sam’s Club stores have instituted a staggered shopping schedule that restricts people to shopping by age group on specific days.

According to the meme, the stores are “adopting a staggered shopping schedule as follows. “We apologize for any inconeince: Monday Age 66+, Tuesday 56-65, Wednesday 46-55, Thursday 36-45, Friday 25-35, Saturday 24 and below, Sunday shopping emergency only.”

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The post, which has the Walmart logo, has been shared thousands of times on Facebook. It also has the word “inconvenience” misspelled.

Rebecca Thomason, a Walmart corporate communications senior manager, told Factcheck.com that the meme is “completely false.”What the store has done in recent weeks is to offer customers age 60 and older an hour to shop in stores on Tuesday mornings before the store opens to regular customer traffic.

On Friday, the chain announced that it “will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for every 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity,” according to a press release.

In addition, the stores have installed sneeze guards in pharmacy lanes and are using a new system to sanitize shopping carts.

Last month Walmart changed its store hours to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in order to clean stores and restock shelves. Many of the chain’s stores had been 24-hour operations.

Sam’s Club, a members-only club owned by Walmart, is also offering special shopping hours for seniors on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Other companies are asking customers to move in a single direction in store aisles to avoid coming into close contact with other shoppers.

Hy-Vee has implemented the policy that will keep shoppers from passing each other on store aisles. Kroger, the country’s largest grocery store chain, along with Walmart is also considering the one-way aisle idea.

DALLAS, April 2, 2020 .A notice is seen on the entry of a Wal-Mart store telling customers to keep the 6-feet social distance in Plano, Texas, the United States, April 1, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended the social distancing protocols through the end of April to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
DALLAS, April 2, 2020 .A notice is seen on the entry of a Wal-Mart store telling customers to keep the 6-feet social distance in Plano, Texas, the United States, April 1, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended the social distancing protocols through the end of April to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dan Tian/Xinhua via Getty)/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images)