Rite Aid Corp. /zigman2/quotes/201733831/composite RAD +1.49% said Friday that it will require customers to wear face coverings in all of its stores, starting July 21. The drugstore chain said if a customer doesn't have a face covering, it will provide one for free. The announcement comes as a number of other nationwide retailers have also announced face-covering requirements, including fellow drugstore chain company CVS Health Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209664499/composite CVS +0.05% , as new cases of COVID-19 have been increasing at a record pace. It also comes after the National Retail Federation encouraged all retailers to do so. "As the pandemic continues to embattle the country, it's critical that healthcare companies lead by example and do all we can to ensure the health and safety of our associates and customers," said Rite Aid Chief Operating Officer Jim Peters. Rite Aid's stock, which fell 3.6% in midday trading, has gained 1.8% year to date, while CVS shares have shed 12.2% and the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.30% has eased 0.2%.