Grocery chains designate ‘special hours’ for seniors amid virus outbreak


Patrick Tidmore, a senior citizen, shops for produce an hour earlier than the general public at Gus’s Community Market, Friday, March 27, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Multiple stores in the Hampton Roads region have changed their shopping hours or designated a certain time period for seniors and other groups considered the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.


Aldi stores nationwide will open at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and reserve the first hour of business for vulnerable shoppers, which includes senior citizens, expectant mothers and those with underlying health concerns.

Fresh Market

The Fresh Market has designated special shopping hours for seniors and others who are most at risk amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The North Carolina-based, gourmet supermarket chain announced modified hours along with several guidelines for customers as concerns of the coronavirus grows.

Between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays, seniors and other individuals who are most at risk will be allowed to shop first. All stores will continue to operate under regular business hours.

Although customers may still purchase fresh, brewed coffee, the supermarket has temporarily stopped all in-store food and beverage sampling, including free coffee samples.

Additionally, The Fresh Market reminded customers of the online shopping delivery with curbside pickup available in select locations.

Find the nearest The Fresh Market location near you.

Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter is dedicating two hours every Monday and Thursday, from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. for shoppers ages 60 and over. ExpressLane online shopping pick-up times from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. are also for seniors only every Thursday.


Similarly, Publix has also designated certain hours for senior customers 65 and older.

Those hours are Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, 7 – 8 a.m. The change in hours will began March 24.

Publix Pharmacy will also open at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for seniors.

BJ’s Wholesale Club

Virginia BJ’s Wholesale Club locations started opening early on March 22.

Members who are age 60 and older can shop from 8-9 a.m. every day of the week. There will be a designated entrance for those customers to use, as well.

Dollar General

Dollar General stores will dedicate the first hour of every shopping day to senior shoppers.

Stores will maintain their normal opening hours. Most in the Tidewater area open at 8 a.m., though others open at 7 a.m.

The company is asking non-senior customers to avoid shopping at Dollar General stores in the first hour after stores open so that seniors, who are more at risk from the COVID-19 coronavirus, can avoid shopping while stores are busy.


Costco has joined other big box stores in creating special shopping hours for senior customers.

The bulk retailer said in a statement that it will open its doors for members 60 years and older every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. The special hours began March 24.

Sam’s Club

Until further notice, Sam’s Club will provide dedicated shopping hours and a “shop from your car” service for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems.

Starting Thursday, March 26, locations across the country will offer shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. to impacted customers.


From March 24 through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older.


Target, which has several stores in Hampton Roads, is reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for the most vulnerable customers, including those over 65 years old, pregnant women or those defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as vulnerable or at-risk. The company is asking all guests who do not identify in one of those categories to refrain from shopping during that hour, as a courtesy to others. Learn more:

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