(WHDH) — Finding cases of water and rolls of toilet paper has proved difficult amid growing coronavirus fears, so some stores are creating special shopping hours for people most at risk of catching the potentially deadly virus.

A growing number of stores have created special hours for seniors and people with underlying health conditions so they can get the necessities they need while also practicing social distancing.

Stores with special hours include:

Dollar General

The variety store is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers.

“In keeping with the Company’s mission of Serving Others, Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods,” the company said in a press release.

Other customers are encouraged to plan their shopping trips an hour after the stores open.

All Dollar Generals also plan to close an hour earlier to allow employees to clean and re-stock store shelves.

Market Basket

The grocery chain is accommodating customers 60 years and older beginning Thursday by opening stores from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for seniors.

“Our Associates really wanted to do this to serve many of our customers who are worried about their health,” said Joe Schmidt, Supervisor of Operations.  “We are proud of how hard the team is working to serve all of our customers and address their needs.  This will mean longer hours for them but everyone is willing.”

Roche Brothers

Beginning Friday, the supermarket chain will designate its first hour of business, from 7 to 8 a.m., to seniors and those who are disabled.

“We ask all of our valued customers to respect the period to allow for a ‘safe’ shopping experience for our seniors and disabled,” the company wrote in a press release.

Roche Brothers says they will not be checking identification but asks customers under 60 years to wait an hour after the stores open to shop.

Shaw’s Supermarket and Star Market

People most at-risk for the coronavirus, such as seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems, are being given the designated shopping hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Shaw’s Supermarket and Star Market.

“We appreciate your patience and support as you help us with this temporary request to ensure our neighbors’ needs are met,” the companies said.

Store hours are also changing to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Stop & Shop

The grocery chain will open from 6 to 7:30 a.m. to customers over the age of 60.

“Stop & Shop is making the decision to allow community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing,” the company said.

Stop & Shop says it will not request identification for entry but they do ask that the public respect the purpose of the early opening for those who are older. The company added that they will ask younger customers to leave during the allotted time frame.


The retailer is reserving the first hour of shopping each Wednesday to those who are elderly and who have underlying health concerns.

“A commitment to help all families is at the heart of Target’s purpose,” Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said. “Our goal is to be here for you and keep navigating through this uncertainty together – and we will do everything in our power to live up to that promise.”

Target is also reducing store hours and closing at 9 p.m. daily to replenish their supply and deep clean.

Trader Joe’s

The grocery store chain is reserving 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for senior shoppers.

“Our Crew Members in each of our stores remain committed to these ideas and, as always, will be ready to help any customer needing extra assistance for any reason,” Trader Joe’s wrote in a press release.

Their store hours will stay at 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.


The pharmacy store chain is dedicating 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday to seniors.

Walgreens is also offering their senior day discount all day on Tuesdays during this time. Customers age 55 and older will receive 30 percent off regularly priced Walgreens brands and 20 percent off regularly priced national brands.


Beginning Tuesday, the retail cooperation will open its stores every Tuesday to just seniors one hour before the regularly scheduled start time.

Walmart is also adjusting their operating hours to 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. for associates to restock the shelves and sanitize the buildings. Stores that already open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours.

The company is also putting item limitations on paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, water, diapers, wipes, formula and baby food.

Whole Foods

The grocery chain is allowing customers 60 years and older to shop an hour before opening to the public.

“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,” the company announced in a press release.

Whole Foods added that they plan to close stores up to two hours early to give workers more time to restock shelves and sanitize. The store will remain open during that time for pickup.

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