Dollar General stores to limit shopping to seniors for first hour of business days during coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Dollar General stores limits shopping to seniors for first hour of business days

Dollar General stores are making sure that some of the nation’s most vulnerable can get the supplies they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discount store is limiting shopping during the first hour of the day to senior citizens, but it didn’t specify age in response to a shopper’s question.

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The chain, which operates more than 16,000 stores across the country, made the announcement Monday, USA Today reported.

“Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus. 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 statement.

It is asking others to not shop during the first hour of the day, Fox News reported.

The stores will also close an hour earlier than normal to allow for restocking and cleaning of the stores, USA Today reported.

Dollar General is not the only store that has decided to set aside time for seniors to get what they need.

Stop & Shop stores will open early, from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and will have a separate entrance for seniors, the Ashbury Park Press reported.

Store officials are not doing ID checks but will ask people who don’t appear in the targeted age group to leave the store.

Grocery stores with three or more cash registers in Jersey City, New Jersey, are taking it a step further, opening doors to not only elderly but also disabled and pregnant customers to shop for two hours, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every day, Mayor Steen Fulop said, according to USA Today.

But not all grocery store chain officials think the measures are a good idea.

H-E-B has decided to not set aside time for elderly shoppers, but officials did look into it, CNN reported.

“Our leadership team studied this option thoroughly and due to recommendations from health officials, we have determined this is not the best and safest option for our customers. H-E-B takes care of Texas and we feel asking a group to congregate at our stores in a certain timeframe is not a safe idea,” the company said in a statement, according to CNN.

The store is encouraging shoppers to use online ordering, CNN reported.

FILE PHOTO: Dollar General stores are asking customers to limit their shopping, allowing seniors to shop during the first business hour of the day.
FILE PHOTO: Dollar General stores are asking customers to limit their shopping, allowing seniors to shop during the first business hour of the day. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)