Fred Meyer

Customers at the Wasilla Fred Meyer leave the store Wednesday evening. Fred Meyer's parent company, Kroger, has issued a requirement that customers must wear masks while in the store. 

WASILLA — Major retailers in the Valley, including Walmart and Fred Meyer, recently started requiring customers to wear masks inside their stores.

Wasilla is home to the core shopping district in the Valley and contains the bulk of box stores. Mayor Bert Cottle recently shared his thoughts regarding the major retail companies’ decisions, saying that it all comes down to choice.

“It’s their stores they can do whatever they want,” Cottle said.

Cottle pointed out that people can still get their shopping done by utilizing the various stores’ pick up and delivery services, noting that people can still do their shopping online if they want to.

“No one’s cutting you off from any services; it’s just If you don’t want to wear a mask, you can still go online and click it or whatever and do it that. So I mean, nobody’s invading your liberties or anything else. It’s their business, if you don’t want to follow the rules, then you have other alternatives,” Cottle said. “You have a choice.”

The Wasilla Library is starting to require masks for visitors starting Friday, according to Cottle. He said the city isn’t mandating masks anywhere else.

He said local business owners are able to make the same call as the box stores regarding masks and any other social distancing requirements.

“That’s an individual store decision. That’s an individual business decision,” Cottle said.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at

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