Nordstrom announced on Friday that it is joining the growing list of retailers requiring the use of face masks in stores.
Effective immediately, the Seattle-based retailer will begin enforcing the mandate. It will also provide a mask free of charge for those who do not have one. The brand is also implementing a series of new health and safety practices in its opened storefronts. These changes include allowing for more space at entrances and aisles, limited group seating areas and improved protocols at high-touch spaces like beauty counters and shoe displays.
Locations will also be temporarily controlling the number of customers inside a store at one time, with new store ambassadors to assist and answer questions at every entrance. Select locations may experience altered hours or partially closed entrances.
Additionally, select fitting rooms will be closed and those that remain open will be cleaned between each use; clothes that are tried on will be put aside for a select time as well before being placed back on the store’s floor.
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Employees will be sanitizing touchpoints and high-traffic spots frequently with hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes provided around the locations for customers to use. Plexiglas partitions will be added to checkout stations, and curbside pick-up is set to continue in action. As for employees, Nordstorm requires a health screening, including temperature checks, before each shift; they are asking employees to remain at home if they don’t feel well.
Nordstrom’s decision to require masks comes after similar announcements from Target, Walmart, Kohl’s and other major retailers. Nordstrom, though, is one of the first major retailers to require the use effective immediately — the mandates at Target, Walmart and Kohl’s all go into effect starting Monday, July 20.
“The health and safety of you and our employees is our top priority. As towns and cities prepare to emerge from stay at home mandates, we want to share what we’re doing to help protect every person who passes through our doors,” wrote Erik and Pete Nordstrom, CEO and president of the brand, in a release shared on its website. “We’re making updates to our stores and the way we serve you to help keep you healthy. We’re following the current CDC guidelines of social distancing, with procedures in place to promote a distance of six feet from others while shopping, and we’re providing customers and our employees with face coverings.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, face coverings help in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said on Tuesday that if everyone in the country started wearing a mask now, the virus could get under control in four to eight weeks. The CDC recommends the use of face masks in public settings and around people who don’t live in one’s household, particularly when other social-distancing measures are tough to maintain. It explained that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing or sneezing — even if those people aren’t exhibiting symptoms.