Target announces reduced hours and special hours for vulnerable shoppers

Target is one of several stores to offer special hours for at-risk customers.
Profit Rises 18 Percent At Target Corp
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/ Source: TODAY
By Lindsay Lowe

Target is reducing its hours and offering special shopping times for vulnerable customers in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Beginning today, all Target stores will close by 9:00 p.m. local time daily, the company said in a release. Stores that normally close earlier than that will continue to close at their usual time.

Target is also introducing a special shopping hour for elderly people and other vulnerable shoppers with underlying health concerns. The first hour of opening every Wednesday morning will now be set aside for these more at-risk customers.

The company also announced more rigorous cleaning measures in its stores, including ensuring that surfaces like checkout lanes and touch screens are cleaned at least every 30 minutes.

Shoppers emptied several shelves at this Target store in Bethesda, Maryland, seen here on March 16. Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

Like many stores, Target has been struggling to keep certain essential items like toilet paper in stock, and the company said it will “maintain limits on select products and would ask guests to purchase only what they need so there’s enough supply to accommodate this increased demand.”

Many stores around the country, including this Target in Dublin, Calif., have limited the quantities people can buy of certain essential items. Getty Images

While Target stores are remaining open, Target Cafes, Pizza Huts, snack bars, beverages and Starbucks seating areas within the stores are closed for the time being, the company said.

Target joins a number of stores reducing their hours and offering special shopping hours for elderly and other vulnerable customers.

Dollar General is setting aside the first hour of opening every morning for senior and at-risk shoppers, and stores will close an hour earlier than their usual closing time to give employees more time to clean and restock, the company said in a release.

Whole Foods stores have also reserved one shopping hour every morning for customers over 60, and will reduce store hours. (The revised hours vary by location.)

“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,” the company said in a statement.