Several chain stores, including Albertsons, Target and Dollar General, are adjusting their shopping hours to accommodate senior and others most at-risk for COVID-19 virus.
Albertsons has announced it will hold at-risk shopping hours between 7 a.m and 9 a.m Tuesdays and Thursdays.
"This is for senior citizens and other at-risk members of the population. It's for some of the most vulnerable of our neighbors and we are asking for the support of all our customers in reserving these times for our vulnerable customers," said Christy Lara, director of public relations for Albertsons in Arlington, Texas.
Lara said most customers "are sensitive" to the issue and believes the adjusted shopping hours will go smoothly.
Albertsons will also be adjusting its pharmacy hours so they will be open during some of the shopping times for vulnerable customers. The store hopes for pharmacies to be open part of the time between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays but those times have not been specified yet. Albertsons will also be doing pharmacy deliveries for customers who do not need to leave their homes at all, Lara said.
Target has dedicated its first hour each Wednesday morning for vulnerable shoppers and other stores including Dollar General are so allocating specific times for elderly and vulnerable customers.
Target has dedicated its first hour every Wednesday morning for vulnerable guests. Target in Texarkana open at 8 a.m.
"Families are counting on Target for critical supplies during this challenging time, and we'll continue to do all that we can keep our stores open. For weeks, we've been responding to the impact of the Coronavirus by taking care of our team, rigorously cleaning our stores and helping guests find the food, medicine and other essentials they need for themselves and their families," said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target in a news release.
Target is also asking guests to purchase only what they need so there are enough supply to accommodate the increased demand.
Dollar General announced recently it will be allowing the first hour of the day for senior and vulnerable shoppers. The stores open at 8 a.m.
The chain of stores is encouraging other customers to plan their trips "around this window of time," according to a news release.
Other shoppers with compromised immune systems are relying on pick-up shopping and deliveries.
Texarkana, Arkansas residents Mike and Faith Williams have been using Walmart pickup for groceries for quite a while already.
Mike Williams has diabetes and his wife has severe issues with her lungs. Both are in their 40s.
"She had pneumonia in 2018 and never fully recovered from the damage it did to her lungs" He said. "So, we are staying home as much as possible."
Mike Williams said he appreciates stores such as Target and Dollar General accommodating shoppers with compromised immune systems but he would probably still depend on being able to order groceries online and being able to pick them up.
The couple especially appreciated being able to pick-up groceries while preparing to stay at home for a while.
"I think last week we had orders every day," Mike Williams said. "We have also been strong Amazon buyers for years."