Grocery Store Issues Color-Coded Bracelets for Customers to Signal How They Can Be Touched

Due to the complexities of COVID, how would you like to be engaged?

That’s a question currently on offer; and you can wear the answer on your sleeve.

Such is the case for select grocery shoppers in Wisconsin.


As reported by Milwaukee’s WISN, Metcalfe’s market is offering free wristbands to both customers and staff to indicate their preferred level of physical contact.

Do you want to be gotten near? Touched? Cozied? The color-coded cuffs will send the message which best befits your friskiness.

Here’s how the bracelets break down; think of it like traffic lights:

  • Red = No contact
  • Yellow = An elbow bump is okay
  • Green = High-five is on the table, or even move in for the hug

Ya know — it’s for all those people who high-five and hug at the grocery store.

Company co-owner and President Tim Metcalfe explained the thinking to ABC12:

“As we continue to experience relaxed restrictions and updated CDC recommendations related to COVID — vaccines, face coverings, social distancing and so on — we realized there would be different comfort levels with these changes among our team members and shoppers.”

Customer Howard Ellis likes it:

“If nothing else, it will probably put a lot of other folks at ease.”

Personally, I try to avoid interaction with everyone at the grocery store, period — pandemic or not. Why do I need to socialize in the frozen foods? So far as I’m concerned, the entire trip is just me, the cereal section, and the doughnuts.


I don’t need a hug, and I don’t need to talk.

Apropos of that, WISN notes the beauty of the bracelet system is they “help to explain someone’s individual preference, without speaking.”

Customer Melissa Thomas is on the other side of the — uh, aisle — from me. She’s going green:

“I think it’s great. I like shaking hands and hugging…”

Metcalfe’s — which was founded in 1917 and has three locations — is stocking fishbowls with bands at the entry area of each store.

2020’s “Best of Madison“-winning grocer purchased thousands of the rubber accessories.

Once those are gone, it’ll reassess.

And if you were wondering, shoppers who are fully vaccinated aren’t required to wear masks.

All others are still told to cover their faces — unless they’re under 5, hearing impaired, or have another relevant medical condition.

This story illustrates a business’s innovation in trying to make customers comfortable.

It’s also an example of how goofy our world has become.

That’s not to say the bands aren’t a great idea; but we’re at a point where watching nearly any movie from any era is a nostalgic walk down the memory lane of normalcy. I recall the look of society, and — to quote a popular book — it was good.


For those in love with the idea of symbols governing interplay with strangers on the street — and speaking of traffic — I’ll leave you with another recent development.

If you or someone you love struggles with road rage, this may be for you.

Just make sure you or someone you love doesn’t encounter anyone who also has road rage, too…

I’d embed it, but perhaps it’s safer if you simply follow the link to Flik.

Safe shopping — and driving to get there.



See more pieces from me:

Doctors Sound the Alarm: Bathing in Cow Manure Will Not Cure COVID

Naughty Nurse: Healthcare Worker Arrested for Toilet Tryst With Pandemic Patient

Study Reveals Over 40% of Teachers Want Civics Education to Focus on Critical Race Theory

Find all my RedState work here.

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