Quality Foods, Superstore, Country Grocer, Whole Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart will be dedicating a portion of their opening hours for seniors and vulnerable members of society to shop, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)

Vancouver Island grocery stores dedicate early hours to seniors, health-compromised shoppers

Shoppers Drug Mart, Superstore, Whole Foods and Country Grocer offers one hour

Seniors and vulnerable citizens will soon be able to avoid the hustle and bustle at a couple of stores on the Island.

Quality Foods, Country Grocer, Superstore, Whole Foods, Red Barn Market, Save-On-Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart will both use a portion of their opening hours dedicated just for those with immunocompromised systems, people living with disabilities and seniors.

Starting Wednesday, all Country Grocer and Red Barn Market locations will allow seniors and immune-compromised people to have an hour, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to shop freely without the pressure of the general public.

Starting Tuesday, all Shoppers Drug Mart locations will use the first opening hour for customers who need assistance, including people living with disabilities and seniors. Stores will also offer the 20 per cent seniors discount on regular priced items for the first hour every day.

On Tuesdays and Fridays, select Superstore locations will dedicate 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. to customers who fall under that category.

Whole Foods will give customers 60 and older to shop without the general public for the first hour. Additionally, select locations will close up to two hours earlier to give employees time to restock shelves, sanitize the stores and get rested for the next day.

Save-On-Foods released a statement that all store will be limiting their operating hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. effective March 19. In addition to reduced hours all stores will open from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. to seniors, people with disabilities and those most vulnerable to shop in a less hectic environment where recommended social distancing parameters can be met.

“It is not business as usual and my amazing team of 21,000 team members has a big job to do as they work around the clock to replenish the items our customers need,” said Save-On-Foods president Darrell Jones.

READ MORE: People now allowed to stay in cars on BC Ferries to avoid COVID-19 spread

Starting Monday, March 23, all Quality Foods locations will use their first two hours from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for exclusive shopping to vulnerable members ahead of the general public.

Although the store hours will change starting Monday, the announcement recommends seniors visit before 9 a.m. starting March 17.

“We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding as we try and do our part to help minimize risk to our senior and health-compromised shoppers in this ever-evolving situation,” states the release.

Representatives from Costco, Fairway Market, No Frills, Thrifty’s and The Market Stores say their operations are running business as usual.

ALSO READ: Vancouver Island YMCA/YWCA locations close in response to COVID-19

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


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