US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Masks Required: More National Chains Are Making That Move

On Wednesday, the National Retail Federation issued a release calling on retailers to set a nationwide policy requiring customers wear masks or other face coverings.

As of July 16, the major retailers or retail ownership groups that have announced or already implemented policy mandating masks to shop inside their stores include Apple, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, CVS, Kohl’s, Kroger, Target, and Walmart.

Many local retail outlets of these chains had already required face coverings, but the policy is to provide more consistency across the country and better function to slow the spread of the coronavirus given the more recent increases in cases.

Many of the retailers offer or plan to offer disposable masks to customers who do not have one already. Many have stated that they will have exceptions for young children and those who have underlying medical conditions barring them from wearing masks. These outlets also have e-commerce platforms and curbside delivery programs to accommodate customers who either do not want to wear a mask or who still feel uncomfortable entering stores even with a mask mandate.

We expect that this movement among national chains will propel usage of masks more broadly. It will also propel expansion of initiatives offering alternatives to in-person shopping, given both reluctance among some consumers to wear a masks and concern among other customers about noncompliance by others.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Global Disposable Masks & Respirators, Global Disposable Medical Gloves, Global Medical Face Shields, and Global Disposable Medical Supplies. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.

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