The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which represents Walmart, Target, Best Buy and other major chains, says local health orders have only created confusion for them and their customers. Additionally, they blame that confusion for creating conflict between customers and store employees.
A number of recent videos have gone viral online, including a woman refusing to wear a face covering while at a Trader Joe’s in California. Now, the Retail Industry Leaders Association is calling on all governors to make face coverings required.
“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,” explains Brian Dodge, the retail association’s president.
The letter goes on to say the retailers “respectfully ask that those governors that haven’t yet required masks in public to do so immediately.” Hodge says the document was specifically addressed to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The National Governors Association said Tuesday that its members are discussing the request.
For the time being, Hodge is encouraging store workers to get their point across with signage, instead of verbal interactions. According to him, such conversations are rarely well-received.
“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 and that retailers not be fined for a customer’s non-compliance,” he explains. As of now, less than half of all US states require a face-covering in public… KSL News