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Coronavirus senior shopping: Stores introduce ‘senior-only’ time


Some retailers are setting aside time for their most vulnerable customers to shop.

Acknowledging that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, or the coronavirus, a growing number of stores are dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups.

Because of panic shopping, which has left store shelves empty, at-risk groups including seniors have had difficulty getting supplies.

Albertsons, which has 2,200-plus stores under banners including Safeway, Acme and Vons, says it is reserving two hours every Tuesday and Thursday morning for vulnerable shoppers, including senior citizens, pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems “who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible.” 

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Starting Wednesday, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public. The company, which is owned by Amazon, has approximately 500 stores throughout the U.K., Canada, and in 42 U.S. states.

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Target’s coronavirus response:Target cutting store hours, dedicating weekly time for elderly and vulnerable shoppers

Several stores are setting aside time for seniors and at-risk populations to shop amid the coronavirus.

“We are setting aside this time to help these customers, who national health authorities have identified as among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, feel more comfortable shopping our stores and helping to ensure they are able to get the items they need in a less crowded environment,” Whole Foods Market said in a statement.

Target is introducing a weekly hour for elderly and vulnerable shoppers to shop starting Wednesday, the same day it will cut hours at its more than 1,800 stores nationwide

Dollar General designated the first hour its more than 16,000 stores in 44 states are open daily to senior shoppers.

Several small and regional grocery store chains also are looking to help, though most retailers are not requiring identification or proof of age and are only “encouraging” other shoppers to plan around these windows. 

Stores helping elderly, vulnerable

Albertsons: From 7 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, the company is reserving time for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated.” Find the full list of Albertsons companies stores here.

Bashas’ Supermarkets: The company’s stores including Bashas’, Food City and AJ’s grocery stores will open from 5 to 6 a.m. Wednesdays for anyone age 65 and older, the Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network reported. The hour for Bashas’ reservation stores is from 6 to 7 a.m. Shoppers will be required to show valid identification at the store. If a caretaker is needed, one can shop with the senior but cannot shop for themselves.





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