Safeway, Target, Albertsons set aside hours for elderly shoppers

Other retailers have changed hours to allow for more restocking and sanitization

CLARK COUNTY — UPDATE 3/19/2020 – Rosauers in Ridgefield has announced that they will also be opening their store to the elderly and immunocompromised from 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Following numerous requests online, a number of grocery store chains have said they will begin setting aside shopping hours specifically for those who are most at risk from COVID-19.

Today, Safeway and Albertsons, which are both owned by the same company, said they would be reserving hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m. for “those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home.”

Target is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Target is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Jacob Granneman

That includes the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with compromised immune systems.

Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, said it is also allowing customers over the age of 60 to shop an hour before stores open to the general public. The chain is also adjusting store hours, including closing up to two hours earlier, to allow employees time to restock shelves, and sanitize stores.

“We are setting aside this time to help these customers, who national health authorities have identified as among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, feel more comfortable shopping our stores and helping to ensure they are able to get the items they need in a less-crowded environment,” Whole Foods Market said in a statement.

Albertsons is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Chris Brown
Albertsons is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Chris Brown

Target stores also announced that hours will be cut, with locations closing no later than 9 p.m. starting today, in order to give additional time for cleaning and restocking. The company is also dedicating the first hour of operations each Wednesday for “vulnerable guests,” including elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“Families are counting on Target for critical supplies during this challenging time, and we’ll continue to do all that we can to keep our stores open,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a statement. “We’ll also maintain limits on select products and would ask guests to purchase only what they need so there’s enough supply to accommodate this increased demand.”

Safeway is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Safeway is among the retail locations setting aside shopping time for the elderly and other populations vulnerable to COVID-19. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Portland-based grocery chain New Seasons said it is also setting aside time for vulnerable shoppers.

“We are asking our customers to help us observe a Senior Shopping Hour from 8-9am every Monday through Friday, so we can provide extra space and assistance to these customers,” the company said on Tuesday.

So far, WinCo stores and Chuck’s Produce have not announced any dedicated shopping hours for vulnerable populations. 

WinCo has closed their stores, which are normally open 24 hours, from midnight until 7 a.m. to give employees a chance to sanitize and re-stock. Chuck’s Produce is reducing store hours from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. for the same reason.

Stores hiring

If you are currently without work and looking for income, nearly every retail location is currently hiring. 

Costco has announced they will be doing seasonal hiring early to gear up for the increased demand. Winco, Fred Meyer, and several other locations have also posted immediate openings.

Amazon also announced they will be looking to hire approximately 100,000 people nationwide in an effort to keep up with an increase in online ordering as people attempt to remain home during the outbreak.

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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