Winn-Dixie Does About-Face on Face Masks

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Talk about an about-face.

Supermarket chain Winn-Dixie reversed course on its previous stance of not requiring patrons to weak masks in its stores, announcing on Tuesday that it will now make mask-wearing mandatory for all customers and staff.

In a reversal of its previous stance, Winn-Dixie parent company Southeastern Grocers said that its position had “evolved” and that it would begin to require all customers and staff to don masks effective July 27.

The company had initially rejected a mask mandate, saying it wanted to avoid "undue friction" caused by putting its workers in the position of having to ban customers. Even with the about-face, the company said it should be state and federal officials who are responsible for issuing mask requirements.

"This unprecedented period requires a willingness to be adaptable and flexible to ever-changing circumstances, and we will continue to adjust as needed over time," Joe Caldwell, director of corporate communications at Southeastern Grocers, said in a statement.

Winn-Dixie joins a growing list of large supermarkets and retailers who now require customers to wear masks in their stores. Costco (COST) - Get Report, Walmart (WMT) - Get Report, supermarket chain Kroger (KR) - Get Report and department store Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report all require patrons to don face coverings, as do Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report.

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