His comments came as a growing number of prominent chains and businesses are adopting mandatory mask policies to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Walmart did so on Wednesday (July 15), becoming the largest retailer in the U.S. to do so thus far.
Benioff said the masks need to be a new “cultural revolution,” CNN reported.
“This whole mask controversy reminds me of when people were first told they have to wear seatbelts and they didn’t want to,” he said, according to CNN. “People said, ‘But if I get injured, it’s my body. It’s my life.’ At some point, the government has to step in and say, ‘Yes, you have to wear a mask, and if you’re not wearing a mask, you’re going to get fined.’ Just like if you don't wear a seat belt, you get a fine.”
Kroger, Best Buy, Starbucks and Kohl’s are other retailers that will be requiring masks to enter their stores, and the National Retail Federation, the industry’s primary lobbying group, has called for the policy to be implemented. Earlier this year, that might not have been the case as retailers tried to toe a more lax policy for fear of angering customers who didn’t want to wear masks.
Wearing masks in stores can be seen as a way companies are moving towards the Digital 3.0 era, PYMNTS wrote recently. Companies are looking to meet the demands of customers at large as the pandemic continues. That will include putting guidelines in place to make customers feel safe from the virus.
It will also include easier digital and contactless payment options, and new inventive ways to sell things — for a clothing retailer, that could mean augmented reality-based images to show what an item will look like on them. And eventually, the path will have to lead to such a good experience that customers will see it as no problem and continue living that way, PYMNTS wrote.