Seniors take advantage of shopping hours dedicated to them at busy stores

Customers lined up early for change to purchase goods

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Publix, Walmart and Walgreens became the latest stores on Tuesday to launch special hours for seniors.

These hours are meant to let the most vulnerable population of contracting COVID-19 have an opportunity to shop safely and practice social distancing with less exposure.

“It’s nice to have the senior hours and we get up early anyways,” Phyllis Shaffer said.

Shaffer and her husband went to Walmart in Altamonte Springs on Tuesday during the store’s senior hour, though she said the store was out of certain items.

"They hadn't stocked the shelves. There was very little on the shelves," Shaffer explained.

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Lots of businesses started senior hour to give elderly customers a chance to shop at their own pace without large crowds amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Though, many seniors were seen making long lines inside and outside Publix in DeLand and Satellite Beach early Tuesday morning.

“During the day I cannot compete with some of the more aggressive people because I have to be careful with my machine,” Moshe Shabat said.

A Publix spokesperson said deliveries are made throughout the day. Currently, there are no plans to expand the store’s senior hour.

“We encourage our customers not to wait in lines for this reason, and are also asking customers for their assistance in purchasing what they need, but not stockpiling,” a Publix representative said.

Shabat was at Walmart shopping on Tuesday but was not able to find the items he needed.

Other businesses started senior hour last week like Dollar General, Winn-Dixie and The Fresh Market.

Click here for a list of stores providing dedicated senior shopping hours.

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