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Precautions You Must Take Before Going to Walmart

Here's how to prepare for an easy and safe shopping trip.
walmart storefront

While you've likely gone on several grocery shopping expeditions during the pandemic and stuck to safe shopping guidelines, if you're planning a shopping trip to Walmart you may want to keep in mind some best shopping practices related specifically to the retail giant.

Walmart has implemented several changes to their daily operations in order to keep shoppers and staff safe during the pandemic. From floor decals that'll help you social distance from other shoppers to a change in their hours of operation, here is how to best prepare for shopping at Walmart during the coronavirus pandemic.

Get our tips on best things to buy at Walmart during the coronavirus outbreak.


Choose a time when it's less crowded

distancing walmart
Courtesy Of Walmart

Grocery stores are usually less crowded right when they open, so it's best to plan your Walmart trip as early as possible. Another benefit of shopping early in the day is that you can bet on the store being at its cleanest and most well-stocked right after opening. If you're a senior, Walmart has slotted an extra business hour every Tuesday, reserved for seniors, first responders, and those most vulnerable to COVID-19.


Plan around new business hours

walmart storefront

Walmart is known for being a 24-hour store. However, in order to clean and sanitize the store properly during the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer is closing their stores overnight and implementing new hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., so plan your trip accordingly. Get our tips on best things to buy at Walmart during the coronavirus outbreak.


Get ready to wait in line

Coronavirus pandemic effects: long queue to enter the supermarket for grocery shopping

Walmart is making it easier for shoppers to socially distance by limiting the number of entrances to the store, as well as the amount of shoppers that can enter at one time. The regulations will depend on the square footage or your Walmart location, but be prepared to wait in line to enter the store.


Cover your face

woman shopping in surgical mask at grocery store
Shutterstock/eldar nurkovic

Some chain retailers like Costco, SpartanNash, Menards, and Meijer require their customers to wear face coverings while in store. Although Walmart's doesn't require it yet, they encourage their shoppers to do the same. Keep in mind that the CDC recommends wearing face coverings in all public areas where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, like grocery stores and pharmacies. It may be a crucial factor in protecting yourself and your family from contracting coronavirus. So bring a mask! If you need info on how to make one at home, check out these guidelines.

RELATED: Your ultimate restaurant and supermarket survival guide is here!


Leave your sanitizer at home

santize cart
Courtesy of Walmart

No need to bring your own supply because Walmart provides sanitizing wipes in multiple areas including the entrance. Use them wipe down your shopping cart once you enter the store and don't forget other touch-point areas like the child's seat and other parts of the cart you're touching. You can also use them to wipe down your phone when you're leaving the store, especially if you've had it out while shopping.


Come with a shopping list

Shopping list

During a time when it's best to keep your exposure to others at a minimum, shopping with a grocery list in hand is crucial. This is not the time to peruse the aisles endlessly exploring what's on offer or planning your dinner while in store. An airtight grocery shopping list will help you get in and out of Walmart quickly and efficiently. Get our tips on how to write an effective grocery shopping list.


Get ready to keep distance once inside

distancing walmart shopping
Courtesy of Walmart

The retailer has gone through great lengths to strongly encourage social distancing at all their locations. Once inside Walmart, get ready to follow traffic lane stickers in their aisles and stickers designating safe distances between shoppers in wait areas like the checkout.


Download the Walmart Pay app

walmart app
Courtesy of Walmart

While it's best to use a credit card and avoid exchanging cash with your store clerk during shopping transactions, Walmart has gone a step further. You can download their Walmart Pay app on your phone and use it for a touch-free checkout at self-checkouts. You'll simply scan your phone at the register, without the need to reach for your wallet or swipe your credit card. You can get the app from the app store.


Come by yourself or in smallest possible groups

grocery shop alone

If at all possible, it's best to leave your children at home, and come shopping by yourself or in smallest possible groups. This will allow you to get in and out faster, but also limit the exposure of your family unit to COVID-19.


Or consider a curbside pickup

Walmart online grocery pickup
Courtesy of Walmart

Walmart provides robust curbside pickup hours, which means you can shop online and pick up your order at the store. A great option for limiting your exposure to others. They've added extra pickup time slots which can be reserved up to seven days in advance, and are reserving morning hours for seniors and those most vulnerable to coronavirus.

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Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more
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