UPDATE: Local markets open early for seniors and higher-risk shoppers

Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. Seen here is the Whole Foods store on Valencia Blvd. in Santa Clarita. Courtesy photo.
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Some local supermarkets in the Santa Clarita Valley are opening their doors early for seniors and other high-risk shoppers. 

In Los Angeles County, there have been 292 cases of COVID-19, with six cases located in the SCV. 

The Centers for Disease and Control has identified populations, who are at a higher risk of getting very sick from this illness, as persons over 65 and people who suffer from chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. 

To assist these populations and ensure they’re able to purchase their groceries, local stores in the SCV have designated a time for them to shop. 


Individuals over the age of 65, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and immunocompromised persons will have a designated shopping time at Vons from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday. 

“We have also reserved special times for seniors and other vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries,” said Vivek Sankaran, CEO and president of Albertsons Companies, in a news release posted Friday afternoon. “We ask that you avoid shopping Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. so that the stores can be available for them.” 


Starting Tuesday, Walmart will reserve an hour before opening, to older, over the age of 60, and more vulnerable customers every Tuesday. It will run from March 24 to April 28, according to a news release Walmart posted Wednesday. 

“We know our older customers could be more vulnerable to the coronavirus and to better support them, Walmart is offering special shopping hours,” the release added. 

The shopping hour starts at 7:30 a.m..

Whole Foods 

Whole Foods’ customers who are over the age of 60 or are most vulnerable to COVID-19 will be able to shop at Whole Foods stores for one hour before the general public, effective immediately. 

“We are setting aside this time to help these customers, who national health authorities have identified as among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, feel more comfortable shopping our stores and helping to ensure they are able to get the items they need in a less crowded environment,” a statement posted by Whole Foods said. 

The shopping hour starts at 7 a.m.

Stater Bros.

The elderly population, or individuals older than 65, have been let into the market 15 minutes before regular customers starting Wednesday. The market officially opens at 8 a.m., but seniors are let in around 7:45 a.m.

“This allows our most vulnerable customers time to shop for essential items in a less-crowded environment,” a Stater Bros. Facebook post said. 

Smart and Final 

Seniors over the age of 65 and customers with disabilities are able to shop 30 minutes before the general public to give this population an opportunity to shop. 

Shopping opens for this population at 7:30 a.m. 


Seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities will have an hour to shop in Vallarta markets before the general public. 

This high-risk group will be let in at 7 a.m. and will have a full hour to shop in the market, according to a Facebook post on Vallarta’s account. 


Every Wednesday, Target will reserve the first hour of shopping to the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions, Target CEO Brian Cornell said in a news release posted Tuesday. 

Target stores will now be opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 9 p.m., the release added.

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