Retailers around the world are changing their hours of operation to allow older people, and those most at risk of contracting severe cases of COVID-19, to shop more comfortably. Stores are designating certain times of day to so that those who most need supplies are able to purchase them without fear of coming into contact with anyone who may be infected.
The virus has affected older people with preexisting health problems most seriously. Here are some retailers participating in the efforts. [Note: We’ll be updating this post as new information becomes available.]
The retail chain Target will be reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for “vulnerable guests,” and those with underlying health conditions, and closing at 9pm for cleaning and restocking.
Walmarts across the country will be hosting an hour-long “senior shopping event” every Tuesday for people 60+ from March 24 to April 28. They will also be adjusting operating hours for enhanced cleaning like Target.
3. Stop and Shop
Stop and Shop made the decision to open earlier to service older and more vulnerable customers from 6am to 7:30am every day — the initiative started this week.
4. Dollar General
Like the others listed here, the Dollar General will be setting aside the first hour of opening to seniors, and closing one hour early to clean and restock. The policy is already in affect.
5. Whole Foods
Whole Foods stores have been opening one hour early to shoppers age 60+ in the U.S. and Canada, and to shoppers aged 70+ in the UK. Stores are closing up to two hours early for restocking and sanitizing. They’ve shut down all salad bars, hot bars, soup stations and self-serve pizza counters.
6. Costco [updated March 21]
Costco said in a statement on Saturday that stores will open for members 60 years and older every Tuesday and Thursday from 8am to 9am. These special hours will begin Tuesday, March 24.
The grocery chain will open for shoppers 65+ as well as those with “increased susceptibility to serious illness” from 8am to 9am Monday through Saturday. In other news, Amazon is reportedly trying to purchase some Fairway markets in New York and New Jersey to help keep up with demand.
8. Acme [updated March 21]
Acme is setting aside the 7am to 9am hours on Monday through Friday for seniors, pregnant women and people with underlying health conditions.
Ralph’s stores are opening for seniors from 7am to 7:30am.
10. Smith’s Food and Drug
Smith’s Food and Drug will offer exclusive shopping for people 60 and over from 7am to 8am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
11. Market Basket
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, Market Basket will be serving only customers 60 and over from 5:30am to 7:00am.
Some ShopRite stores have announced seniors-only hours from 7am to 8am. Check your local store’s Facebook page for more details.
13. The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market, a grocery store serving the southeast and midwest said it would designate special shopping hours — 8am to 9am from Mondays to Fridays — to seniors and other individuals most at risk.