Walmart's One-Way Aisle Stickers are a Disaster, Customers Say
One way shopping aisle stickers in Walmart are tearing the country apart! Or, maybe they're just leading to a not-so-healthy debate over how best to follow social distancing guidelines to deal with the current public health crisis.
The retail giant instituted new global policies for all of its locations in order to help ensure the safety of both shoppers and employees as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on daily life. While limiting the number of shoppers allowed into each store location has become a standard practice for many grocers, Walmart's "one-way movement" policy designed to encourage social distancing is not exactly earning rave reviews.
In early April, Dacona Smith, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Walmart U.S., explained how the "one-way movement" was designed to limit interactions customers have with one another. Walmart also explained how it will work in a Facebook post:
Beginning April 23rd (Thursday) our facility will be going to One-way Aisles. One-way aisles are designed to increase social distancing and give customers more space on each aisle. There will be floor decals in place to help indicate the direct traffic flow. You will find green "Shop This Way" decals indicating the entrances of each aisle. You will find red "Do Not Shop This Way" decals to tell opposing traffic not to enter the aisle.
Late last week, Walmart put the one-way shopping procedure into practice. And many people … aren't terribly pleased. While a simple search on Twitter reveals there are a number of complaints about civil liberties—and even some "social control" conspiracies—the vast majority are directed at fellow Walmart shoppers who are either unwilling or unable to follow the simple one-way arrows. To wit:
— Christine Rapp (@christinerappwx) April 26, 2020
Something as normal as monthly Walmart shopping for necessities is anxiety inducing. Follow arrows. Waiting on others constantly. People not following arrows making it harder. Trying to quickly check my list so I don't linger. I much prefer my smaller store anyday.
— The Rogue Doughnut (@TheRogueDonut) April 27, 2020
@Walmart So appreciate how your store ( Bowling Green KY) is managing the flow of customers with Arrows & Enter/Do Not Enter markings on the floor ⬆️⬇️🚫⛔
However my experience today was frustrating cuz so many customers are clueless to following a safe flow & Distance!!!
— Shawn Gatto (@CaOutbacker) April 27, 2020
@Walmart had the good idea to make their aisles one way to improve social distancing however… you can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink. I ran into directionally challenged persons at every turn this morning. Were the arrows confusing?
Come on people!#COVID19 pic.twitter.com/k9y9BksUT8
— Greg Alexander (@Gsanvin) April 27, 2020
1 – more people in store than the last times I have been
2 – not everyone is wearing a mask including the three firefighters I saw
3 – no one can follow the direction arrows in the aisles
4 – no one is cleaning in between customers like Target is doing
— Lee West (@mom2hpa) April 27, 2020
@Walmart I love your efforts for directing traffic through your stores. However it is failing miserably. I'm tired of looking down to follow arrows only to get met head on with a cart coming at me. I'd say 90% of shoppers legitimately do not care to follow the rules.
— Mrswood (@MrsWoodInPA) April 27, 2020
Like many of its fellow national grocer brethren, Walmart has been faced with a great number of challenges that have come with the coronavirus pandemic, and has even faced a wrongful death lawsuit from the estate of an associate who succumbed to COVID-19 in March.
As a result, Walmart has been aggressive in this and other policies to keep shoppers and staff members safe. It appears, however, that some Walmart shoppers seem less interested in abiding by a simple safety measure than doing their own thing.