Kroger, Target to keep mask mandate for Texas shoppers

North Texas shoppers will find different mask policies at grocery stores after the statewide mask mandate ends next week.

Kroger said Wednesday it will continue to require customers and employees to wear masks. Target, which features many locations with a grocery section, will require shoppers and associates to wear masks with exceptions for people with certain medical conditions and young children.

But one major chain is taking a different approach. The Albertsons – Tom Thumb grocery group will now encourage face coverings, but they’re not mandatory.

H-E-B also said masks are no longer required for customers, but said employees will wear them.

Neighbor’s House Grocery in Fort Worth features a full complement of specialty food items and spirits. It even serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

"I thought about it overnight we didn’t come out with our formal policy statement until this morning. I went back-and-forth and back-and-forth," said owner Kyle Cowan. "Masks are going to be required at Neighbor‘s House Grocery until the CDC says it’s safe to not wear them."

Cowan opened the New York City-inspired market eatery 18 months ago in downtown Fort Worth. Customers range from city dwellers with kids to corporate execs.

"The money is not all about life to me. Quality of life and my customers who have come to trust us, so that’s really where the decision was driven," Cowan said.

Customers at the store weren’t shy to share their opinions.

"If a business owner feels they need to endorse masks to protect their people and their clients I think that’s great, I think they should do that," said Charlie Erwin. "The same thing with churches and other public places."

"I feel that having the mask is helpful to keep us all safe and I just feel like we need masks on longer. I feel like it’s better safe than sorry," said Cima Malkhassian.

Cowan says he’s prepared for possible resistance.

"As I’ve said, if someone doesn’t want to spend a dollar with me because I require a mask, then they probably weren’t a good customer to begin with and we’ll find one to replace them."


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