How Kings Food Markets Is Winning the Mask War

Gina Acosta
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How Kings Food Markets Is Winning the Mask War
Kings operates 25 stores in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Kings Food Markets has created an innovative way to prevent some shoppers from having a meltdown over face covering rules.

The CEO of the New Jersey-based chain of 25 stores appeared on the "Today" show this week to explain the company's new policy. Shoppers who arrive without a face covering at a Kings Food Market are provided with a complimentary mask and the CEO's personal cellphone number.

“This is something that we’ve really thought long and hard about,” Kings Food Markets CEO Judith Spires said in an interview with “Today” earlier this week, explaining that she’d rather bear the brunt of an unruly shopper than put that responsibility on her employees. “I didn’t want our associates put in any kind of situation where they had to deal with a customer that was refusing to wear a mask."

The complimentary mask and note come inside a packet that is given to any customer entering the store without a mask. At the bottom of the notecard, shoppers are encouraged to contact Spires directly on her personal cellphone if they have any questions or concerns about the store policy.

“Thank you for choosing Kings where the safety of you and our valued Associates is my number one priority,” the note reads. "In accordance with our state Executive Order, please wear the enclosed mask while in our store. We appreciate your commitment to keeping all of us healthy and safe. If there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call me,” the note concludes, followed by a phone number.

Spires told “Today” that she’s already convinced at least one customer to wear a mask during their next visit despite fundamentally disagreeing on the policy. Other than that, she claims the idea has received praise from the majority of her customers.

Kings operates 25 stores in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

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