Senior shoppers take advantage of special hours
News that some stores were dedicating special hours for seniors brought the early birds out to Jewel-Osco on Larkin Avenue in Elgin Thursday.
"I'd been trying to come at off hours anyway," said Dave Thayer of Elgin. "But this makes it easier."
In a Twitter post Wednesday, Jewel-Osco said: "We are asking that on Tuesdays & Thursdays, between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., you allow our senior shoppers to have priority shopping with fewer customers in the stores. We understand that this may not work for everyone but appreciate everyone's consideration."
Other stores have made similar declarations, including Target, Whole Foods Market, Dollar General Store and Meijer.
Meijer announced stores will close from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily for deep-cleaning, though gas pumps will stay open 24 hours.
Meijer will reserve 7-8 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for senior citizens and people with chronic health conditions. Meijer employees and medical workers, first responders and law enforcement officers can shop from 7 to 8 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.
The company asked shoppers "to please respect the times for these important groups."
Walgreens announced stores will close from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. to allow for cleaning, though stores with 24-hour pharmacy drive-through will keep that service.
Elgin Fresh Market spelled out its new policy in a Facebook post. "The recent extraordinary events have impacted our entire community. However, it has come to our attention that senior citizens and those with physical handicaps have found it especially difficult to access basic grocery and food services due to the long lines and crowded conditions."
The store's special hours will be 8 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and will be "exclusively for the shopping needs of senior citizens that are 65 years of age and older, and those with physical handicaps. These special hours and restrictions will be in effect until further notice. Identification will be required as proof of age."
Ron Bass of Elgin said he was shopping during Jewel's special hours out of caution. "I'm just trying my best not to bring it in to the house," Bass said of the virus.