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When and where Hall seniors can shop away from the general public and take precautions against COVID-19
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A sign posted at Gainesville's Big Lots location on Browns Bridge Road Monday, March 23, 2020, tells customers the first hour of each business day is for senior citizen shoppers only. - photo by Scott Rogers

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Elder shopping hours are taking effect in Hall County.

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A customer enters Big Lots in Gainesville Monday, March 23, 2020. The Gainesville Big Lots location posts a sign telling customers the first hour of each business day is for senior citizen shoppers only. - photo by Scott Rogers
Instead of having to brave grocery stores and supermarkets during the COVID-19 pandemic, senior citizens are now receiving designated hours to shop away from the general public.

Dollar General, Big Lots and Target were some of the first to make this move last week, and many others have followed suit including Kroger, Publix and Walmart.

Big Lots is setting aside its first hour of business, 9-10 a.m., each day, for older shoppers.

“We’re trying to do what we can to help each other out,” said Krys Jacobson, a cashier at Big Lots in Gainesville.

Dollar General additionally allotted its first hour of operation, which differs from store to store, to senior shoppers each day. 

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, Walmart stores will designate an hour for those 60 and older to shop. This will take place an hour before stores officially open, every Tuesday.    

From 8-9 a.m. each Wednesday, Target is opening up its doors to only senior citizens, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions.

Kroger’s senior shopping hours began on Monday, March 23. Older customers are encouraged to visit from 7-8 a.m, Monday through Thursday. 

Starting Tuesday, March 24, Publix stores will open an hour early to allow those 65 and older to shop from 7-8 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

David Brewer, manager of the Publix on Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville, said this new offering will benefit a majority of the location’s customers, who are senior citizens. 

“We have people who have been shopping here since it opened 20-something years ago,” Brewer said. 

Weekly Hall County senior shopping hours:
  • Big Lots: 9-10 a.m., daily

  • Dollar General: First hour of business, daily

  • Kroger: 7-8 a.m., Monday-Thursday

  • Publix: 7-8 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday 

  • Target: 8-9 a.m., Wednesday

  • Walmart: An hour before business, Tuesday

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