Stores begin switching up hours to serve high-risk shoppers

Posted: 19 March 2020 11:11 am

Walmart, Target, Whole Foods and others introduce senior-only shopping hours.

This article was updated on March 23, 2020 to add additional store information.

In an effort to ensure that seniors and other people in high-risk groups are able to get the supplies they need amid the COVID-19 outbreak, many stores are now dedicating specific store hours for these shoppers.

In some cases, stores will open one hour early once per week for seniors. Others are dedicating the first open hour Monday through Friday for seniors, pregnant women and those with existing medical conditions to shop.

A growing list of retailers are also limiting the quantity of high-demand items like hand sanitizer, toilet paper, milk and eggs that each individual can purchase.

Below is a list of some of the stores that have adopted these new hours and regulations.


Stores will open one hour early every Thursday from March 24 to April 28 for customers who are 60 and older. Walmart told USA Today that it is up to each store to decide whether or not to check IDs at the door.

Most stores will close at 8:30 p.m., although this can vary by location. Walmart will also limit the number of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, wipes, water, diapers, baby formula, milk and eggs that each customer can purchase.


Stores will open one hour early every Wednesday for “vulnerable guests — including elderly and those with underlying health concerns.” Target hasn’t put an end date on this change yet. All stores will close at 9 p.m.

Limits on the quantities of hand sanitizer, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes, bottled water and other similar items will be in place.

Whole Foods

Stores will open one hour early every morning for customers 60 and older to shop. All stores will close two hours early to give team members a chance to restock and sanitize.

Dollar General

While not opening early, Dollar General is encouraging susceptible customers to shop during the first hour that the store is open, asking other shoppers to wait until later in the day to shop. Stores will also close one hour early for restocking and sanitization.

Big Lots

Big Lots has designated 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for seniors and other vulnerable individuals to shop without crowds. Otherwise, all stores will operate under regular business hours.


Starting Tuesday, March 24, Publix stores and pharmacies will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday morning for customers age 65 and older. This change will be in place until further notice.


Starting Tuesday, March 24, every Tuesday will be “Senior Day” at Walgreens, with a special shopping hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This hour is also available to caregivers and immediate family members.

Customers 55 and older will also receive all-day discounts every Tuesday, saving 30% on all regularly-priced Walgreens-branded products and 20% on all regularly-priced national brands.

Picture: Getty

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