Retailers enforce crowd control

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

Retailers are continuing to adjust and create new ways to push back against the potential of the coronavirus pandemic spreading further within store settings, keeping shoppers and staff safe. Some of the latest initiatives are focused on crowd control in stores.

Some retailers like Hy-Vee are instituting “one-way shopping,” where aisles in stores can only be shopped going one way, keeping appropriate distance between shoppers. The retailer is putting up signage to direct shoppers. Foodland in Australia and Loblaw and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada have been testing one-way aisles, too.

Other retailers are limiting the number of shoppers allowed to enter a store altogether. Target announced today that it “will actively monitor and, when needed, meter guest traffic in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide to promote social distancing.” The amount of shopper traffic allowed will be based on the size of the store, and a Target team member will manage a waiting area outside the store with distanced markers to keep shoppers apart.

For stores in California, Georgia and North Carolina, Trader Joe’s reportedly has been limiting shoppers inside stores to around 35.  


Costco has added a new measure that limits club members to only two shoppers per card on any trip. 

Target’s John Mulligan, executive vice president and COO, said, “The measures we’re announcing today are aimed at ensuring we are creating a safe environment for the guests who continue to turn to Target, while also providing our team with additional resources as they fulfill an essential service in communities across the country.”

Store Brands has been keeping track of various tactics in-store in its retailer roundup.