Stores offering, encouraging senior shopping hours in response to coronavirus

The Fresh Market in Roanoke started Thursday

ROANOKE, Va. – As soon as The Fresh Market opened Thursday, senior shoppers like Mike Nolin and Debby Kingsbury headed in to get their groceries.

“It gives us a sense of feeling safe knowing we can come into a store with not a lot of people, keep that distance between us the health officials suggest we ought to do," shopper Mike Nolin said.

A sign on the Roanoke grocery store doors asks people to dedicate 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. every day to senior shopping, but that didn’t stop some younger shoppers from getting what they needed.

To minimize the potential for exposure to the virus, the store asked media not to go inside and only talk to customers outside.

“We are older, more susceptible. That makes it even nicer when the stores, like The Fresh Market here, can open up for that population,” said Nolin.

The change is welcome news for Linda Mecca as well.

“I think it’s a great feeling," Mecca said.

Also like Nolin and Kingsbury, the coronavirus is on her mind when she goes out in public.

“Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, you have to be concerned," Mecca said.

Concern that, like for many other Americans, likely isn’t going away any time soon.

Other stores have also jumped on the senior shopping hour bandwagon:

  • For the next two Tuesdays, Walmart stores nationwide will open an hour early for people 60 and older.
  • Target is dedicating one hour a week to senior shopping.
  • Dollar General is asking people to let the first hour stores are open be for seniors.