From setting up sneeze guards at the register to offering free grocery delivery to seniors, these big grocery store chains are making noticeable changes to keep people safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

1. CVS and Walgreens have both introduced drive-thru coronavirus testing.

Select Walgreens and CVS Health stores nationwide have started providing drive-thru coronavirus disease testing in their parking lots. These retailers are working closely with the current administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure tests are available based on specific geographic needs across the country.

 

2. Walmart is limiting purchases, offering senior shopping hours, and even shutting down early to clean.

Walmart Corporate has made big changes to the way stores are operating. From shutting down overnight in order to clean and restock, to saying “no” when it comes to certain returns and refunds.

Some locations have put together “clean teams” that focus solely on keeping shopping carts, shelves, checkout, and high-trafficked shopping aisles — like those for toilet paper and baby products — clean and stocked as much as possible. Walmart has even shut down their Auto Centers in order to allow those employees to focus on cleaning and stocking the store.

In addition to reducing open hours to 7 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Walmart is offering the hour prior to stores opening, as a designated shopping hour for seniors starting March 24 – April 29. So if your store opens at 7 a.m., expect doors to open 6 a.m. – 7 a.m. for seniors.

Walmart also offers free grocery pickup and delivery in some locations; however, expect delays due to high demand. You’ll have to schedule two days out for pickup times. Mornings offer the best chance to get on the schedule.

Expect limitations on the following high-demand products to keep inventory in check:

  • paper products
  • milk
  • eggs
  • cleaning supplies
  • hand sanitizer
  • water
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • baby formula
  • baby food

Some Walmart locations are even reporting limits and suspensions on items acceptable for refunds and returns — namely, the high-demand items mentioned above. Check with your local store for details.

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3. Kroger is hiring thousands to keep up with demand and encouraging grocery pickup or delivery.

Kroger and its family of stores including, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, Ralphs, Smiths, Harris Teeter, and others, are not just cleaning more, they’re hiring additional workers to keep up with demand. Thousands of job listings for Kroger stores, factories, and distribution centers have gone up over the last week.

Like Walmart and other big chain grocers, Kroger announced that stores are designating the first hour of opening to senior shopping. For most Kroger stores, that’s around 7 a.m. for seniors over 60 years old, but check with your local retailer for specifics.

To encourage social distancing, Kroger stores are also promoting their grocery pickup service; however, keep in mind that some high-demand items including bottled water or baby wipes are listed as “in-store only.”

Don’t expect to buy however much you want of cold, flu, and sanitary products — Kroger has set limits on those purchases throughout most of its stores.

They’re also not taking any chances when it comes to contamination. Kroger has suspended all product returns and refunds (with the exception of fresh items that don’t meet their freshness guarantee).

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4. Target stores have closed down fitting rooms and are cleaning guest-facing surfaces every 30 minutes.

Target’s mission to clean guest-facing surfaces every 30 minutes is reassuring, and that’s not the only measure they’re taking to protect shoppers.

Distribution centers are prioritizing in-demand products by fast-tracking their supply chain to meet demand in Target stores.

Also, Target fitting rooms are being encouraged to shut down, unless shoppers request to use them or nursing mothers need them.

Like Walmart, Target stores are shutting down early in order to get shelves restocked and stores thoroughly cleaned. Expect store closures at 9 p.m. daily.

The first hour of shopping every Wednesday is senior shopping hour at Target. Pregnant women, customers with disabilities, and shoppers with compromised immune systems can also shop at this time.

Target Drive Up and Order Pickup is available for shoppers as well. Target has even suspended the need for signatures when customers pick up orders.

Expect purchase limits on the following high-demand items at Target:

  • hand sanitizer
  • toilet paper
  • disinfectant wipes
  • dry goods
  • milk
  • eggs
  • water

There’s no official updated return policy for Target; however, many stores have reported time extensions for returns.

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RELATED: 11 Companies Doing Good During the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

5. Albertsons is saying no to soup and salad bars, and yes to sneeze guards at checkout.

Albertsons and its family of stores including Safeway, Acme, Carrs, Randalls, Vons, Jewel Osco, and others have installed 30×30″ plexiglass sneeze guards for their checkout registers. This is just one effort to keep Albertsons shoppers and employees safe.

Albertsons stated that they will also be suspending their soup and salad bars to limit the spread of germs. And because demand is so high, Albertsons is planning to hire more than 1,600 new employees across its brands.

Senior citizens, pregnant women, and customers with compromised immune systems can shop safely during 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays (check with your local store for specifics).

In an effort to control contamination, Albertsons is suspending all returns at this time.

 

6. Trader Joe’s is starting to limit the number of shoppers that can be in the store at one time.

Along with suspending their famous free samples nationwide, Trader Joe’s locations in Charlotte, North Carolina have started limiting the number of customers to 45 in their stores as of Friday, March 20 according to The Charlotte Observer.

Stay tuned for more updates by downloading the free Krazy Coupon Lady app.

 

 

7. H-E-B is offering free grocery delivery to senior shoppers and installing sneeze guards at their registers.

Texas-based grocery store H-E-B is one of the first stores we’ve seen to offer free delivery on not just all pharmacy orders, but also free delivery to senior shoppers through their partnership with Favor.

People ages 60 and older can place an order from a select list of products like milk, eggs, and bread over the phone between 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily. They’ll receive their order within a few hours, with no delivery fee attached. The service does require a mandatory $10 tip for the Favor runner who delivers the items, which will automatically be added to the bill.

H-E-B stated they’d also be installing sneeze guards at their registers and setting 2-, 4-, and 8-item purchase limits on certain categories.

 

8. Costco is limiting certain purchases and returns — and offering special hours starting March 24.

Costco is known for its lenient return policy, but that’s changed in recent weeks. Costco will no longer accept returns for toilet paper, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, water, rice, and Lysol at this time.

They’re also restricting purchases on certain high-demand items like water to two units per membership, per day.

For senior shoppers, Costco will begin offering special shopping hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. starting March 24.

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RELATED: These Stores Have Updated Return Policies Due to Coronavirus

 

9. ALDI is setting purchase limits and hiring in all their stores and warehouses to keep up with demand.

Some ALDI locations have limited store hours to accommodate restocking and cleaning, but that’s not enough. ALDI announced that they would be hiring more employees — from store associates to drivers — to help provide more supplies to customers quickly. Check with your local ALDI for hours and inventory updates.

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10. Publix is also hiring more employees, setting purchase limits, and encouraging curbside pickup.

In addition to more cleaning, Publix is encouraging shoppers to use their curbside grocery pickup instead of going in store, but currently shoppers must schedule three days out for available pickup times.

They’re also setting buying limits on the following items:

  • disinfectant wipes
  • hand sanitizer
  • bleach
  • water
  • canned goods

In order to keep up with demands, Publix also announced they’d be hiring more employees.

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