While many retailers are closing stores completely during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, others don’t have that option. Grocery stores (and retailers like Target and Walmart, which sell groceries alongside other products) are finding ways to balance people’s needs with social distancing protocols. And more and more are setting aside hours where only people who are most vulnerable to the virus are welcome in the store.
The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk during the ongoing pandemic. Here are the times several major chains have dedicated to those customers. (Of course, check with your local store to confirm it’s following these hours):
Walmart – From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will open an hour early every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. Pharmacies and vision centers will be open during this time.
Target – First hour of every Wednesday
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Whole Foods Market – Customers 60 and older can shop for one hour before the general public is allowed into stores.
Safeway – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday
Dollar General – “Senior shoppers” (though it doesn’t set a specific age) will be given exclusive access to the store in its first hour
Albertsons – The company will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for vulnerable shoppers.
Stop & Shop – The grocery chain, with many locations in the Northeast, will open from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. for customers over the age of 60.
The Fresh Market – The chain is reserving its first hour every weekday (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) for seniors and those most at risk.
Vallarta Supermarkets – Stores in the California chain will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for customers 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with disabilities.
Gelson’s Markets – The California chain is open to seniors 65 and older from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. daily. (IDs required)