Senior Hours: Local Alachua County stores give exclusivity to the elder shoppers among us

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A growing number of stores are dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups, acknowledging that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19.

Because of panic shopping, which has left many store shelves empty, at-risk groups including seniors have had difficulty getting supplies. 

Here is a list of stores locally who are utilizing senior hours:

Big Lots

Reserving the first hour of each day for senior citizens and “those most vulnerable to this virus,” CEO Bruce Thorn said in an email to shoppers.

Costco Wholesale Club

Holding a twice-weekly senior hour from 8 to 9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for members 60 and older. The hours apply to all stores except for the company’s Business Center locations.

Dollar General

Dedicating their first hour of operations each day. They are also planning on closing one hour earlier than the current closing time to allow employees to clean and re-stock, as well as for their health and wellbeing.

Fresh Market

Reserving the first hour stores open, from 8 to 9 a.m., for “seniors and those most at risk” Monday through Friday.


Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 7-8 a.m. This is for customers age 65 and over ONLY. The service will continue until further notice. Publix Pharmacy will also open at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to serve seniors.

Sam’s Club

Introducing twice-weekly special hours for seniors, people with disabilities and those with compromised immune systems, and a “Shop from Your Car” concierge service starting Thursday, March 26. The special hours will be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. “until further notice.”


Is reserving the first hour of shopping each Wednesday to support vulnerable guests, including the elderly and those with underlying health concerns.

Trader Joe’s

The first hour of daily shopping will be reserved for senior customers, from 9 to 10 a.m. The company didn’t specify the age range of seniors, which is generally considered to be 65 and older, but it varies by company.


Designated Tuesdays as “Seniors Day.” The company’s locations will be reserved for seniors, their caregivers and their immediate families from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesdays. Customers 55 years and older will get special discounts on Tuesdays.

Seniors will also be eligible for discounts on Tuesdays, including 30% off regularly priced Walgreens-brand items and 20% off regularly priced national brands.


Hosting an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers aged 60 and older. This will start one hour before the store opens. Pharmacies and Vision Centers will also be open during this time.

Whole Foods

Until further notice, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public. The company, which is owned by Amazon, has approximately 500 stores throughout the U.K., Canada and in 42 U.S. states.


Designated a special shopping hour dedicated to seniors and high-risk customers from 8 – 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, in all stores.

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