The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade association of the largest chain retailers in the U.S., including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and many others, sent a letter to the National Governors Association this week asking for uniform rules requiring consumers to wear masks while shopping. The letter decries the current patchwork of rules, and notes that retailers are put in the position of confronting sometimes hostile and violent shoppers opposed to stores' mask rules.
“Despite compliance from the majority of Americans [with store policies encouraging mask-wearing by shoppers], retailers are alarmed with the instances of hostility and violence front-line employees are experiencing by a vocal minority of customers who are under the misguided impression that wearing a mask is a violation of their civil liberties,” the association wrote. “We urge every governor to require consumers who are not encumbered by a medical condition to wear masks when shopping or in public spaces…. Given the troubling incidents we have all seen on social media involving aggressive customers refusing to wear a mask, we strongly recommend store employees not be charged with primary enforcement of mask mandates….”