Grocery Stores Opening Early for Senior Citizens: Dollar General, Stop and Shop, Food Town Hours

Grocery stores have made it a little easier for senior citizens to go grocery shopping during the coronavirus outbreak. Due to people stocking up before self-isolation, as well as people panic buying and emptying the stores of toilet paper, medicine, and pasta, it has been difficult for senior citizens—who are one of the at-risk groups—to get what they need.

But grocery stores across the country are setting up special measures to allow elderly customers to shop first thing in the morning, while the shelves are still full and the aisles still empty of other customers.

Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General, said in a statement: "In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers' understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices."

Stores updating their hours generally

  • Kroger stores have updated hours that vary by location.
  • Publix stores and pharmacies will now close at 8 p.m.
  • Walmart stores will be open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m.
  • Sam's Club stores will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Find out below which stores are opening early or allowing elderly customers early access.

Senior Citizen Elderly Grocery Store
Some grocery stores are opening early for senior citizens amid coronavirus. Sean Gallup/Getty

Stores opening early for senior citizens nationwide

  • Costco
  • Dollar General
  • Publix
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods

Costco

Costco will open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m., for customers aged 60 and older. Costco will also open its pharmacies at 8 a.m. for senior customers.

Dollar General

Dollar General is dedicating the first hour of each operating day to senior customers, check with your local store for its opening hours. Dollar General will also close stores an hour early each day to allow staff to clean the store and restock the shelves. Dollar General has more than 16,000 stores across 44 states and opening hours vary by location.

Publix

Publix will open on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 7 a.m. until 8 a.m. for customers aged 65 and over. Publix pharmacies will also open early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, at 7 a.m., for senior customers.

Safeway

Safeway will open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m for senior and vulnerable customers. Other stores owned by Albertson's will also be opening early, but check with your local Albertson's store for its updated hours.

Target

Target is reserving the first hour it opens on Wednesday for senior customers. Opening hours vary by location so check with your local Target.

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's will have a separate line for senior customers from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. every day to allow them quicker entry to the store.

Walgreens

Walgreens will open from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. on Tuesdays for senior customers, their caregivers, and their immediate families.

Walmart

Walmart is opening its stores from 6 a.m. until 7 a.m. exclusively for senior citizens until April 28.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods will be opening an hour early for senior customers, though opening hours vary by location. Whole Foods will also be closing up to two hours early to give staff time to clean and restock, so check with your local store for its updated hours.

Local stores opening early for senior citizens

Stop and Shop, New York, New Jersey, and New England

From March 19, Stop and Shop's 400 locations across New York, New Jersey, and New England will be open from 6 a.m. until 7.30 a.m. exclusively for customers over the age of 60.

Houston, Texas

Food Town is opening the doors for older shoppers from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at its around 30 locations in Houston. The early opening is reserved for shoppers aged 65 and over and the store will require a state-issued ID or a Texas driver's license.

Southern California

The Northgate Gonzales Market will open its 41 Southern California stores an hour early for senior citizens. Senior citizens will be able to shop between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and the stores will then be open to the public from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Jersey City, New Jersey

Jersey City announced that it will work with local grocery stores to set aside exclusive hours for "elderly residents, people with disabilities and pregnant residents" between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. from March 17.

Lorain, Ohio

The Apples Grocery Store on Meister Lane will open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for senior citizens, the Flinger's Market will open at 6 a.m. for senior citizens and the Walmart will open at 5 a.m. for seniors on March 17.