Coronavirus: Major Canadian grocers to offer special hours for seniors to stock up

With grocery stores across Canada often crowded and shelves lacking staples in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, some major Canadian grocery retailers have announced special plans to ensure some of the most vulnerable will be able to get supplies.

Both Loblaws and Sobeys have said they will introduce dedicated hours to allow seniors and those with disabilities to shop as a response to the recent spike in purchasing created by consumers worried about the effects of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“We are prepared for this, and to support those most in need, we are opening some of our stores early with dedicated hours for seniors and people living with disabilities to come before the crowds,” executive chairman of Loblaw Companies Limited Galen Weston said in a letter to PC Optimum members on Wednesday.

Loblaws-owned Zehrs stores in the Kitchener area have announced that they will open an hour early on Wednesday morning to seniors and those with disabilities.

“The store will be cleaned and sanitized to allow our senior shoppers to get the supplies they need in a less crowded and stress-free environment,” the posts have noted.

Similarly, a Loblaws Valumart store in the Kingston area has also announced it will open a half-hour early three days a week beginning Thursday to meet the needs of seniors and those with disabilities.

In addition to Zehrs, Loblaws also controls stores that operate under various banners, including No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Fortinos, Valumart, Freshmart and Provigo, among others.

In a letter posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Michael Medline, president and CEO of Empire Company Limited, announced that similar plans for Sobeys stores will begin on Thursday.

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