A number of local stores are adjusting their hours amid COVID-19 concerns to ensure proper cleaning practices and allow restocking of goods as shelves sit empty of household necessities at stores nationwide.
Some stores, such as Schnucks, Hy-Vee, Target and Dollar General, are also offering special hours for older adults and those with compromised immune systems to let them shop away from the crowds that could put them at risk of contracting the virus.
Hy-Vee has shortened its hours and is now open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, according to a news release from the company. The company expanded on the decision in a Facebook post, saying the shortened hours will allow for additional time to clean and sanitize the store and to restock the shelves as well as allow time for employees to “care for their families and loved ones.”
The company is also reserving 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. seven days a week for “high risk” customers, as in those who are:
- Ages 60 and older.
- Expectant mothers.
- Anyone with an underlying health condition(s) creating susceptibility to serious illness.
Pharmacies in most Hy-Vee locations will also be extending their hours so they can serve this group of customers at those times.
“We are extremely concerned about the spread of this virus and want to respond to our customers who are at higher risk of serious illness by offering them a time where they may feel a bit safer shopping in our stores,” Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, CEO and president, said in an email.In addition, Mizzou Quick Care locations are closing until further notice. Hy-Vee has three clinics inside its grocery stores. Mizzou Urgent Care in south Columbia will remain open.
Schnucks also shifted hours Monday. Stores will now be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, according to a statement on its website. This decision will allow for almost 200 workers to be shifted around and redeployed in such a way to ensure time off, according to the statement.
Schnucks is also now reserving the first hour of each day, from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., for seniors aged 60 and above and for those who are most at risk of contracting COVID-19.
“By allowing seniors and those who are most at risk to be the first in our stores, we hope we can make it just a little bit easier for them to feel comfortable while picking up the groceries and household items they need,” the statement read.
ALDI released a statement Monday saying that stores nationwide would be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with some stores having more limited hours to accommodate restocking and cleaning. Local stores were not available for comment on their exact hours.
Some smaller local grocers did not report any change in hours when called Wednesday afternoon, including Lee’s Market and Clovers Natural Market.
Walgreens will shift its in-store hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily starting Thursday, according to an FAQ section on the company’s website concerning its COVID-19 response. The local pharmacy hours, normally 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Broadway location, will also be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. there. At the Club Village Drive location, they will continue to be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy has not yet adjusted hours. An employee told the Missourian, however, that it was not out of the realm of possibility that store hours could change in the future.
The CVS website has a page dedicated to its COVID-19 response but has not made any statement concerning a change in hours. A worker at the local CVS location inside Target said hours were remaining the same as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Mizzou Pharmacy-Hitt Street, the closest pharmacy to the MU campus, said hours would remain the same. Students and Columbia residents alike can still fill prescriptions there 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Both D&H Drugstore locations are operating at their normal hours, owner Darran Alberty said. He emphasized that if changes were to occur, the new hours would be posted to its social media, website and phone system.
Larger superstore outlets like Walmart and Target have also made adjustments to their hours to keep stores clean and well-stocked.
Walmart will now be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily starting Thursday, until further notice. The change is meant to ensure that workers have enough time to clean and sanitize stores and to stock high-demand products.
Target announced that all stores will now close at 9 p.m., like the Columbia location already does. Opening time will remain 8 a.m. daily.
In addition, Target will also be reserving the first hour of shopping every Wednesday for “vulnerable guests,” like the elderly or those with underlying health concerns, according to a statement.
Dollar General is also now reserving the first hour of shopping each day for senior customers to help them avoid the busier and more crowded shopping times, according to a statement on its website.
“We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General CEO.
The statement said all Dollar General stores will now close one hour earlier than current close times, which vary by store, to allow employees time to clean and restock.
Sam’s Club has also shifted hours and will now be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, according to a statement on the company’s website. Prescheduled pickup orders will still be available starting at 7 a.m.