This week, a number of major retailers across multiple industries have announced the requirements of their customers to wear masks while shopping in their stores. Foot Locker, however, will reportedly not …
This week, a number of major retailers across multiple industries have announced the requirements of their customers to wear masks while shopping in their stores. Foot Locker, however, will reportedly not implement a similar policy.
The spread of COVID-19 within the United States has sparked debate around the need and effectiveness of masks.
“CDC reviewed the latest science and affirms that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others,” accroding to the CDC
Foot Locker CEO Richard Johnson told the Financial Times that he won’t make his customers wear a face mask until there is an official nationwide mandate to do so.
“Masks have become a political issue, not a health issue. I’m not willing to put my [employees] at risk” of having to defend a mandatory mask policy, Mr. Johnson said to the Financial Times.
The reasoning behind the decision is a result of the use of masks being politicized which has led retailers having to defend the use of masks against angered consumers who do not wish to comply.
Numerous retailers have reported an increase in physical and verbal threats made to store employees by customers when confronted for not wearing a face mask or social distancing. One such report by the Service Employees International Union found that 44% of McDonald’s employees have been “physically or verbally threatened or abused by customers” over such situations.
The policy that CEO Richard Johnson shared with FT pivots in a somewhat different direction from the company’s posted policy that currently states that masks will be worn by employees and that customers will need to follow local policies with respect to facemasks.
“If you live in a state/county/city/or town that requires you to wear something to cover your face when shopping, riding transit or visiting a doctor, then you must cover your face or wear a mask to enter our stores.”