Central Market to Mandate Masks for Shoppers
H-E-B's upscale banner Central Market will begin requiring face coverings for all customers starting on June 22.
The move comes just a few days after H-E-B announced more cases of employees testing positive for COVID-19, and an online petition calling for the grocery giant to make face coverings mandatory for shoppers received thousands of signatures online.
“H-E-B, as a private company, is free to require customers to wear masks in their stores, regardless of whether state or local laws require it,” the Change.org petition states. “H-E-B needs to REQUIRE shoppers to wear face-coverings if they want to shop in their stores.”
But interestingly the company decided to implement the mask rule in its Central Market stores, not at H-E-B stores.
“With the approval of Governor [Greg] Abbott, many local governments in Texas have issued ordinances that require businesses to adopt Health and Safety plans that require customers to wear masks. Central Market will follow all local ordinances. Additionally, beginning Monday, June 22, Central Market will require the use of masks or facial coverings by all our Partners, vendors and customers while inside our 9 locations in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, Plano and Southlake,” the grocery chain said on Facebook.
In a reply to a comment on its Facebook post, Central Market said there could be exceptions for children or people with health-related issues.
H-E-B's Central Market banner joins The Fresh Market, Costco, Whole Foods Market and others requiring shoppers to wear masks.
With 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 17 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America.