Grocers in Aldergrove have opened an hour early for seniors during the COVID-19 crisis, allowing older customers to avoid the crowds.
It started last week Thursday when Save-On-Foods first opened an hour early – at 7 a.m. – for seniors, people with mobility issues, and the immunocompromised.
On Save-On’s first early morning, March 19, an estimated 60 seniors came out of self-isolation to purchase necessities for their fridges and homes, said Aldergrove store manager Cam Bates.
“We’ve been holding back some of the stock for them,” explained Bates.
“And everything is sanitized and clean for them when they come in.”
By Friday, the manager said “all of our tills were going” for the entire senior’s hour as more people caught wind of the chance to buy groceries among like-minded people whilst social distancing.
One of the seniors who took part in the early shop this week, Claudia Andrews, said she “loves it.”
Teri Ann Slatten, on the other hand, says 7 a.m. is “too early for me.”
Save-On-Foods announced the changes so that “people with disabilities and those most vulnerable to shop in a less hectic environment and allow for social distancing,” it said, as recommended by provincial health officials.
This change comes with Save-On stores limiting quantities of items available for purchase – including meat, dairy, and toiletries such as toilet and tissue paper.
Bates said Aldergrove Save-On-Foods assistant manager, Tony Angelatos, calls this initiative “feedingthe community.”
“This way everyone shares and gets a little,” said Bates, proud of the utilitarian changes.
FreshCo, owned by Sobeys Inc, followed suit just a day later – opening its Aldergrove store an hour earlier on March 20 for seniors and others in need of extra assistance.
At 7 a.m. on Friday, older populations entered the store ready to shop.
FreshCo’s and Save-On-Foods’ regular Aldergrove hours are now limited, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Shoppers Drug Mart in the Aldergrove Village has in a similar fashion dedicated its first open hour – 8 a.m. – to those “who need assistance or consideration,” said a company-wide statement. This includes seniors and people living with disabilities.
Shopper’s Drug Mart announced that seniors will also be able to utilize a Senior’s Day discount of 20 per cent on regular priced items during the store’s first hour of operation each day.