These Grocery Stores Have Special Hours for Seniors and Other At-Risk Shoppers

Stores Offering Senior Shopping Hours

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Stores Offering Senior Shopping Hours
Karen Ducey/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

Safer Shopping

Worried customers have crowded supermarkets, warehouse clubs, and big-box stores in recent days, clearing shelves of pantry staples and household supplies as they hunker down during the coronavirus pandemic. In response, many stores have altered hours to allow more cleaning and restocking, but some have gone one step further, adding special shopping times for older customers and other high-risk patrons. Here is an updated list of the larger chains helping promote safe shopping for all.

Note: This list is not exhaustive. Many smaller regional and local chains are offering a similar service to their customers; check with your local store.

Related: 118 Senior Discounts (Some Starting at Age 50!)

Walmart by Mike Mozart (CC BY)
Target store
Whole Foods
Miosotis Jade/istockphoto

Whole Foods

When: First hour of shopping every day (check with local store for opening time)
Whole Foods is setting aside an hour each morning for customers 60 and older. It has also noted that stores may close up to two hours early each evening for additional time to sanitize and re-stock.


Kroger (Select Locations)

When: Varies
One of the nation's largest grocers has announced special hours for seniors and other vulnerable shoppers in certain locations, including Michigan as well as southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky. Customers not in those areas should call their local stores to check whether the program will be rolled out in their area.

Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's

When: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day
While Trader Joe’s will not be opening early for seniors, it will “maintain an additional line outside the front door for our senior customers” to make sure older patrons can get in and out of the store more easily. The chain has been limiting the number of shoppers at its stores, which have a smaller footprint than most other grocery stores.

Costco Return Policy


When: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday
Costco, which has lately been crowded by customers trying to stock up on giant packs of toilet paper and other household supplies, will allow patrons 60 and older their own shopping hour twice a week. The pharmacy will be open at that time.

Walgreens Pharmacy


When: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday 
Seniors who don’t want to be crowded in smaller pharmacies may want to head to Walgreens on Tuesday mornings. The chain will offer a special senior shopping hour, plus Tuesday-only savings for customers 55 and over. Those include 30% off Walgreens-brand items and 20% off other full-price items. Seniors will also be able to get free shipping without an order minimum when they shop online, plus drive-through shopping for select items.

Dollar General
Jonathan Weiss/shutterstock

Dollar General

When: First hour of shopping every day (check with local store for opening time)
Dollar General recently announced "senior hour encouragement" and says all other customers should plan to shop after the first hour to allow older customers more elbow room.


Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Acme

When: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday
These grocery stores and others under the Albertsons umbrella will reserve two mornings a week for "senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems." The company encourages customers to confirm hours with their local stores.

112515 stores closed on thanksgiving slide 18 fs
Rob Wilson/shutterstock


When: 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday beginning March 24
Customers age 65 and over are invited to shop early twice a week at major southeastern grocer Publix. Pharmacies will also be open.


Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Harveys, Fresco y Mas

When: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday
"Seniors and high-risk customers" are welcome to shop an hour early every weekday at these chains owned by parent company Southeastern Grocers. Pharmacies will be open.

Big Lots (Waterbury, Connecticut)
Big Lots (Waterbury, Connecticut) by JJBers (CC BY)

Big Lots

When: First hour of shopping every day (confirm opening time with local store)
"Senior citizens and those most vulnerable to the virus" are specially invited to shop the first hour every day that stores are open. Big Lots will also start offering curbside pickup to support social-distancing efforts.

Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Stop & Shop

When: 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. every day
Stop & Shop will reserve the first 90 minutes of shopping for any customers 60 and over, plus anyone with "weakened immune systems."



When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day (by phone)
Instead of providing in-store shopping hours for seniors, Texas-based H-E-B and Favor Delivery have announced a "senior support line" for customers 60 and over. Seniors can place their orders via phone for same-day delivery, eliminating the need to come into the store at all. Delivery and service fees are waived for 30 days, but a $10 tip for the delivery person is added automatically.

giant eagle, columbus ohio
giant eagle, columbus ohio by Jessie Pearl (CC BY)

Giant Eagle

When: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Wednesday starting March 23
This large regional chain in Ohio and Pennsylvania will open to seniors, shoppers with disabilities, and anyone who is immunocompromised an hour early three days a week, and pledges to have staffers available to help anyone who needs extra assistance during those times.

Harris Teeter 2201 W WT Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC 15
Harris Teeter 2201 W WT Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC 15 by Mike Kalasnik (CC BY-SA)

Harris Teeter

When: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays starting March 23
Shoppers 60 and over will be able to shop early twice a week at Harris Teeter. The southeastern chain is also allowing only seniors to use its ExpressLane online pickup service on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The normal $4.95 fee will be waived. Seniors who prefer delivery can choose that option for $5 during those hours, too.

The Fresh Market
Richard S./Yelp

The Fresh Market

When: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday
Fresh Market says it will welcome "seniors and other individuals most at risk" to shop early on weekdays.

Giant Food Store
Derek B./Yelp


When: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day
This mid-Atlantic grocery chain is reserving an hour every day for customers 60 and older as well as "individuals with compromised immune systems."

Price Chopper
Price Chopper by Mike Mozart (CC BY)

Price Chopper and Market 32

When: 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day
These upstate New York and New England stores will be open "exclusively to seniors" for an hour each morning.