Aging Well

Expanded List of Grocery Stores with Seniors-only Shopping Hours

If the number one reason seniors leave home, risking exposure to the coronavirus is grocery shopping, it is helpful that these national chains now offer seniors-only shopping hours. NOTE: This list changes so call your local store ahead of time to confirm.

Posted Updated
Woman shopping during senior hours
Liisa Ogburn

As we all now know, seniors are the most vulnerable population to the more dire effects of coronavirus. As the state with the third highest population of seniors in the country, North Carolina must be especially intentional in its efforts to protect this group. The primary outing that seniors make these days, that risks exposure-- is to get groceries. Fortunately, more stores are now providing “seniors-only” hours. These are typically early in the morning right after the store has been cleaned and restocked, but before the general public is allowed in.

Please note that I am including only those stores that offer senior hours, not those that "strongly suggest others refrain from shopping during the first hour when seniors might come." Each store is linked to its webpage detailing other efforts to protect customers during this pandemic. NOTE: This list is always changing and it would be prudent to call your local store ahead of time to confirm.

First hour of each day is reserved for “senior citizens and those most vulnerable”
They are also offering curbside pickup for no extra fee.
  • BJs Wholesale Club
  • 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. is reserved for members age 60 and older.
  • Fresh Market
  • 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday-Friday, is designated for ‘seniors and other individuals most at risk (those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes).’
  • Harris Teeter
  • Mondays and Thursdays from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. are reserved for seniors ages 60 and older.
    Also, ExpressLane Online Shopping pick-up times from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday will be reserved for seniors, and Harris Teeter will waive the $4.95 fee and offer $5 delivery for seniors during this time.
    Every Thursday, ages 60 and older receive a 5% discount.
  • Publix
  • Stores and pharmacies will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for customers ages 65 and older.
    Publix stores are also offering delivery and curbside pickup options, with ordering via Instacart.
  • Target
  • the first hour of operation on Wednesdays will be designated for ‘vulnerable populations.’
  • Trader Joe's
  • every day from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. there will be an additional line outside the front door for senior customers to ‘ensure that those customers in need will have an expedited entrance to the store to help make their experience a more positive one.
  • Walmart
  • From 3/24/2020 to 4/28/2020, every Tuesday, ages 60 and older can shop one hour before stores open (6 a.m. to 7 a.m. for most stores but check your local store’s hours to confirm). Pharmacies and Vision Centers will be open during this time.
  • Whole Foods
  • Starting 3/18/2020, the first hour of operation is designated for ‘seniors age 60 and older.’

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