Coronavirus List: Safeway, Target, Whole Foods offer 'senior hours' during COVID-19 outbreak

Julian Glover Image
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
List of stores offering 'senior hours' during COVID-19 outbreak
List of stores offering 'senior hours' during COVID-19 outbreak

SAN JOSE (KGO) -- Some stores are making special accommodations for older members of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dollar General stores are allowing seniors citizens shop by themselves, for the first hour they are open, the company announced Tuesday.

Seniors are among the most susceptible to the new virus.

Zanotto's Markets in Willow Glen, Sunnyvale and Rose Garden is opening an hour early, just for seniors from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This will let them shop with limited exposure to other people.

Also, starting Wednesday all Whole Foods Market in the U.S. and Canada will be opening one hour early to accommodate those over 60 and people with disabilities. Starting on Thursday, all Whole Foods stores in the U.K. will service customers who are 70 and older one hour before opening to the public.

Target is also implementing changes at it stores to help contain the spread of COVID-19. It's reserving the first hour of shopping each Wednesday for vunerable guests, including shoppers over 65 and those with underlying health concerns. Target is also reducing hours and closing all stores by 9 p.m.

"This will help us as we replenish and deeply clean our stores for our guests," Target said in a statement.

Safeway and Albertsons will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. for seniors and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible.

"We are asking our customers to respect these special hours for those who are most at risk in our communities," said Vivek Sankaran, President and CEO. "We thank our customers in advance for their compassion and understanding toward their neighbors and friends, and in helping us maintain this temporary operations guideline."

"We got this" said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo at a media event inside of a San Jose Safeway on Wednesday. "The supply chain here at Safeway at all of our grocers is very healthy and it is very vital."

Some seniors praised the stores for rolling out "senior hours" to make it easier for them to shop.

"It makes it easier for us older people who don't want to come out," said Vicki Hallett. "The only thing we can do is go out and walk around the block."

Brenna Peavie, a retiree now caring for her three great-grandchildren said she need more time than just an hour.

"I think it's wonderful, but it needs to be longer. I can't shop that fast," said Peavie.

As someone familiar with our areas supply chain, Brad Street, Safeway Northern California Division President urged shoppers to be patient and said we will get through this if consumers stop over shipping.

"You might not get that specific flavor or variety that you want but we are going to be able to get product on the shelves" said Street.