2020 | Business

County approves 26 large retail applications for exemption from capacity limit

Will be allowed more than 150 shoppers at once; one applicant rejected

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This story was updated at 11:21 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2020, to include a list of the stores that received approval It was updated again at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 29, 2020, to provide clarification on the number of applications.

Montgomery County has granted an exemption to 26 large retail applications, letting them have more than 150 people inside their doors at one time.

Under the county’s latest executive order, which went into effect Dec. 15, large retailers had to apply for consideration to operate with more than 150 people by Dec. 21. The county had to rule on the applications by Dec. 23 .

The applications included requests for approval letters that were required to provide details on how businesses would enforce coronavirus safety measures and regulate the number of customers in the stores.

The county approved 26 applications and rejected one for Discount Mart in Takoma Park.

“For the one rejection, they asked for an increase in their capacity from the 63 that their square footage would allow at 1/200 sq. ft. to a total of 150 people which would exceed both the county and state limits,” Barry Hudson, a spokesman for the county, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Monday evening.

Some applications were for companies with multiple store locations, such as grocery store chains.

The county provided a list of 26 entries for applications but included two entries for Walmart. There was no explanation of why.

One entry on the list for Giant Food indicated that it was approved for 26 stores.

The applications that were approved included (some store locations were not immediately available):
• Saks Fifth Avenue in Chevy Chase
• Wegmans Food Markets in Germantown
• Bed Bath & Beyond in Rockville
• Walmart in Germantown
• Dick’s Sporting Goods in Gaithersburg
• Dick’s Sporting Goods in Wheaton
• JCPenney in Wheaton
• Target in Germantown
• Target in Calverton
• Target in Gaithersburg
• Target in Wheaton
• Target in Bethesda (5700 Bou Ave.)
• Target in Bethesda (6831 Wisconsin Ave.)
• The Home Depot in Aspen Hill (temporarily approved pending further information)
• Giant Food (26 stores)
• Safeway
• Lowe’s
• Macy’s
• Burlington
• Bloomingdale’s
• Kohl’s
• Weis Markets
• Costco Wholesale
• Harris Teeter
• Sam’s Club (awaiting additional information)

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.