man wearing mask leaving walmart
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Walmart, Gap, and these other major retailers now require masks

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man wearing mask leaving walmart
Bruce Bennett/Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

No Mask, No Service?

Do you have to wear a face mask when you go shopping? The answer used to depend on where you live, but it's also starting to depend on where you shop. As COVID-19 cases explode across much of the United States, an increasing number of retailers — including the nation's biggest, Walmart — are requiring shoppers to put on a mask, even in places where there's no state or local mandate. You now risk being turned away if you aren't willing to cover up at these major chains. (Before you shop, check out these Masks and Accessories to Make Covering Your Face More Comfortable.)

Related: 15 Ways the Coronavirus Has Changed Americans' Daily Lives

Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe's
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Walmart Price-Match Policy
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Walmart

The nation's largest retailer is requiring all shoppers to wear masks as of Monday. Calling the move "a simple step to help keep you safe," Walmart attributed the move to increasing COVID-19 cases and noted that nearly two-thirds of its stores are already in areas where state or local mandates require masks. Employees "will receive special training to help make the process as smooth as possible," according to a company release.

Related: 13 Hacks and Secrets for Shopping at Walmart

Office Depot
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Office Depot and OfficeMax

Effective Monday, customers stocking up on office or school supplies are required to wear a mask at Office Depot and OfficeMax stores. The brands, which share a parent company, are also limiting occupancy and offering curbside pickup at most locations.

Lowe's
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Lowe's

Buying supplies for those long-neglected DIY projects will require you to don a mask at Lowe's. The home-improvement retailer announced a chain-wide mask mandate that took effect Monday. Lowe's will provide free masks to customers who don't have them. It also offers curbside pickup and home delivery for patrons who would prefer not to wear masks.

Whole Foods
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Whole Foods

The Amazon-owned grocery chain began requiring customers to wear masks Monday, and the company has pledged to provide them for shoppers who don't have their own. It already required employees, Prime Now shoppers, and any third-party delivery workers to wear face masks.

Kohl's
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Kohl's

Starting Monday, shoppers are required to wear masks at all Kohl's locations. Greeters will remind shoppers of the rule. Kohl's, which says 70% of stores were already affected by state and local mask requirements, noted that it has limited-contact store pickup for anyone who prefers not to shop in store.

Nordstrom
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Nordstrom

Nordstrom is also requiring shoppers to wear masks, effective immediately. The department-store chain added the new rule to its list of COVID-19 safety policies at the end of last week.

PetSmart
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PetSmart

Whether you're grabbing cat food, picking up dog toys, or taking a pampered pet in for grooming, you need a mask at PetSmart as of Monday. Customers who don't have a mask can ask associates to provide one, the chain says.

Petco
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Petco

Like major rival PetSmart, Petco is also requiring all customers to wear face coverings beginning Monday.

Sam’s Club
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Sam's Club

Walmart's mask requirement also covers Sam's Club. Like Walmart, Sam's Club started enforcing the rule Monday and will have "health ambassadors" at store entrances to remind customers of the policy. Unlike Walmart, Sam's will have complimentary masks available for customers who don't bring their own.

CVS
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CVS

CVS is requiring all customers to wear masks at its nearly 10,000 stores nationwide, a change that went into effect Monday. However, it says it is "not asking our store employees to play the role of enforcer."

Rite Aid
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Rite Aid

Rite Aid customers need to wear masks in stores nationwide as of Tuesday. The company also says it will not ask employees to challenge customers who do not cover their faces. It will provide masks free of charge to shoppers who don't have their own. 

albertsons
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Albertsons and Safeway

Albertsons is requiring shoppers to wear a mask on their next grocery run, a new policy that took effect Tuesday. It applies not only at the company's namesake stores but other Albertsons-owned grocery chains including Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, and Shaw's.

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Publix

This Florida-based grocery chain with more than 1,200 stores throughout the Southeast is requiring customers to wear masks as of Tuesday, the company announced. Young children and those with "medical conditions who are not able to wear face coverings" are exempt, but the chain encourages anyone who can't or won't wear a mask to use delivery or curbside pickup.

Macy's
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Macy's and Bloomingdale's

Like most stores, Macy's has required employees to wear masks since reopening. But beginning Wednesday, shoppers, too, must wear facial coverings in Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores nationwide. The iconic department store chains will provide masks for customers who don't have them.

Kroger
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Kroger

Kroger, second only to Walmart in U.S. grocery sales, also announced that its customers will be required to wear face masks. The rule goes into effect Wednesday at stores nationwide. The policy change includes all Kroger-owned chains such as Ralphs, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Fry's, and Harris Teeter, according to Supermarket News.

Home Depot
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Home Depot

The home-improvement retailer says all customers will be required to wear a mask starting Wednesday. Small children and "those who have a valid medical condition" are exempt. No mask? A "social distancing captain" will be able to provide one.

Bed Bath & Beyond
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Bed Bath & Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, and World Market

Shopping for cookware? Sheets? The latest as-seen-on-TV gadgets? If you're doing it at Bed Bath & Beyond, you'll need a mask beginning Friday, the retailer announced last week. The new rule also applies to the company's other stores: Buy Buy Baby, Cost Plus World Market, Christmas Tree Shops, and Harmon Face Values.

Best Things to Buy at Aldi
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Aldi

Starting July 27, you'll need more than your "cart quarter" and your own bags if you're heading to Aldi for groceries. That's when the chain will begin requiring shoppers to wear masks at its 1,900 U.S. stores. Delivery and curbside pickup are options at many locations for those who are "unable or unwilling" to wear a mask, the company says.

Target
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Target

Undoubtedly spurred on by rival Walmart, Target has joined the chorus of stores mandating mask usage. It announced last week that all shoppers, except for young children and "those with underlying conditions," must wear face coverings inside stores nationwide beginning Aug. 1. Target will give disposable masks to shoppers who don't have their own, and is reminding customers who would prefer to go mask-free that they can shop online, opt for curbside pickup, or use same-day delivery through Shipt.

Gap
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Gap

Gap announced Monday that shoppers will be required to wear masks in its North American stores, which include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Janie and Jack, beginning Aug. 1. The policy excludes small children and those with underlying medical conditions. Store employees are already required to cover their faces and will hand out disposable masks to customers who don't bring their own.

Best Buy
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Best Buy

Best Buy customers are now expected to wear face masks, and the electronics giant has pledged to provide masks for customers who don't bring their own. Shoppers who refuse to cover their faces will be limited to online shopping, home delivery, or contactless curbside pickup.

Related: 100 Tech Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

Starbucks
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Costco Return Policy
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BJ's
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BJ's Wholesale Club

The country's third-largest chain of warehouse clubs is joining Costco and Sam's in requiring customers to wear a mask beginning Monday. BJ's notes that masks must cover "both the mouth and nose at all times." Children under 2 are exempt.

Meijer
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Meijer

A regional chain of supermarkets spread across the Midwest, Meijer recently announced that customers are expected to wear a face covering at its stores as of Monday.

Walgreens And Rite Aid
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Walgreens

Walgreens is requiring shoppers to wear masks while they're in store. However, the major pharmacy chain also notes that "out of concern for employees' safety," it is discouraging its associates from confronting shoppers who don't wear masks.

Ikea
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Ikea

When you're ready to wander this maze of flat-packed furniture, be sure to bring a mask. The Swedish home retailer is requiring all customers to wear face coverings while in store. It's also monitoring the number of customers in its stores and keeping children's play areas and restaurants closed, among other safety measures.

Panera Bread
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Panera Bread

Diners are required to wear a mask in Panera's more than 2,000 bakery-cafes across the country "except while seated and eating or drinking," the chain says. The company notes that it offers curbside pickup, delivery, and drive-thru services for patrons who don't have a mask or don't want to wear one.

Apple Store
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Apple Store

Like Costco, Apple has been requiring its customers to wear face masks in stores since May. It provides face coverings for shoppers who don't bring their own, and unlike most retailers, takes the additional step of conducting temperature checks at the door. 

REI
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REI

If you're craving a little time outside but need to head inside REI first, be prepared to wear a mask. The outfitter is requiring all customers to don face coverings, and says it will provide disposable masks for shoppers who don't have their own.

H-E-B
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Carrier Loyalty
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Verizon

Whether you're buying a new phone or changing your service plan, Verizon requires all shoppers to wear masks while in its stores. It also encourages customers to contact customer service online to see whether an in-person visit is actually necessary.

T-Mobile
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T-Mobile

Like Verizon, T-Mobile is requiring all customers to wear a face mask in stores, except for children under 2. It is similarly reminding customers that they can manage their accounts and upgrade their cellphone plans online. (Sprint, which recently merged with T-Mobile, says customers are required to wear masks in most of its stores.)

AT&T
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AT&T

Rounding out the major cellphone companies AT&T says it, too, requires all customers to wear masks while in store. The company says it will provide masks for shoppers who don't have them.

Eddie Bauer
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Eddie Bauer

This men's and women's outfitter and apparel retailer is requiring all customers to wear masks in store. It's also closing fitting rooms and maintaining strict capacity limits, allowing only five shoppers to browse in the store at one time.

Jared Jewelry store
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Zales, Kay, and Jared

These three jewelry chains, all owned by parent company Signet, are requiring customers to put on a mask before they come in to pick out something sparkly. As Zales' website notes, masks must cover the nose and mouth.

American Eagle Outfitters
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American Eagle and Aerie

Along with sister chain Aerie, apparel retailer American Eagle is requiring shoppers to wear masks when browsing in store. Welcome stations in every store will offer hand sanitizer and provide masks for shoppers who don't have them. 

Menards
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Menards

Ahead of national counterparts Lowe's and Home Depot, regional home-improvement chain Menards had a policy of requiring shoppers to cover their faces. Even children who aren't carried or pushed in shopping carts must wear a mask or face shield.