If you visited the Battle Creek Walmart last weekend, you may have discovered some changes, as the store makes adjustments to comply with state edicts to combat the spread of COVID-19.    Walmart closed off every entrance and exit, except for the grocery entrance on the east end of the store on Beckley Road.   The entrance also had barricades up to regulate the flow of people coming in or out.  The west doors, down near the pharmacy, were deactivated and barricades and signs were up to keep people from using that exit or entrance.  The small side door on the was manually locked.

Walmart-inside west exit doors-TSM Photo


The question that many people had, was ‘what if there was a fire inside the store or an active shooter incident?’

Emmett Township Department of Safety Lt. Tony Geigle says the store didn’t consult authorities but that store management was very cooperative when they went over to inspect.  “A lot of stores in the area are doing these types of things to comply with state orders, but we had a problem with a couple of things.”  Lt. Geigle says the barricades inside the west entrance were a hazard because people could easily get tangled up in them, and possibly trampled in the case of an incident.  He says those have now been cleared.   “The west doors are deactivated from automatically opening, but they can be opened manually in the case of an emergency,” said Lt. Geigle.

Walmart-inside west entrance-TSM Photo

Lt. Geigle says the department also had concerns about the barricades at the east entrance, and as a result, Walmart is implementing some new “break-away” barriers and using them at other Walmart stores too.

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