Dollar General announced this week that all of the company's stores will dedicate the first hour of business every day to "senior shoppers" as a response to the coronavirus epidemic.
What's the story?
As the coronavirus — formally known as COVID-19 — has spread across the globe, the world has seen that the most vulnerable victims of the disease are the elderly.
With that in mind, Dollar General tweeted Monday evening that starting Tuesday its stores' "first hour of operations will be dedicated to our senior shoppers."
In a news release on its site Monday night, the company expanded on the new policy:
Beginning tomorrow, Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus. In keeping with the Company's mission of Serving Others, Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.
Other customers are encouraged to plan their shopping trips around this window of time to allow the most susceptible customers in our communities the ability to shop during the first hour that stores are open.
Dollar General also announced that all stores are planning to close an hour earlier in order to give employees time to adequately clean and restock shelves before opening to seniors for the next day, and for the health and well-being of their employees.
CEO Todd Vassos said in the statement, "In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. 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."
The company clarified on Twitter that they were not "qualifying a specific age" for the special shopping hour.