Coronavirus: Target offers vulnerable guests dedicated early shopping hours on Wednesdays

All stores to close by 9 p.m., company announced

Shelves in the cleaning supplies aisle were empty at the Target at Dunvale and Westheimer on March 7, 2020. (KPRC)

Consumers across the United States have been flocking to retail stores to stock up on essential products like food and cleaning supplies, but crowded stores make it hard for those vulnerable customers to shop amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Target announced in a press release it has reserved the first hour of shopping each Wednesday for elderly guests and those with underlying health concerns to shop without large crowds.

The company also announced all of its retail locations will close daily at 9 p.m. to give staff members more time to clean and restock at the end of the day.

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Target is encouraging customers to plan their shopping trips around the new timeframes.

The retailer said guest-facing surfaces like check lanes and touchscreens would be cleaned at least every 30 minutes.

According to Target, each store is closing all cafes, Pizza Huts, snack bars, beverage bars, Starbucks seating areas and condiment stations in stores.

The retailer also said it is “waiving the company’s absenteeism policy and covering up to 14 days of quarantine and illness pay for team members with a confirmed case of COVID-19, as well as continuing to offer standing benefits like Paid Family Leave and free counseling services.”

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