Stop & Shop opening early for shoppers over 60 during coronavirus outbreak

The move seeks to accommodate older customers who are most at risk.

A customer pushes a shopping cart out of South Bay's Stop & Shop.
A customer pushes a shopping cart out of South Bay's Stop & Shop.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Stop & Shop, which cut its hours this week to allow more time for deliveries and stocking shelves during the coronavirus crisis, said Monday that it will begin opening its supermarkets early for older shoppers.

Starting on Thursday, supermarkets will be open from 6 to 7:30 a.m. for customers age 60 and over, the Quincy-based company said, noting the Centers for Disease Control and local health authorities have said older adults are at higher risk of contracting the virus.

“Stop & Shop is making the decision to allow community members in this age category to shop in a less crowded environment, which better enables social distancing,” a company statement said.


The statement said Stop & Shop will not ask shoppers for an ID when they enter but requested “that we all respect the purpose of the early opening — and do the right thing for our older neighbors.”

Stop & Shop retains the right to ask younger shoppers to leave during the early period, the statement said.

It said the supermarket chain is keeping high levels of hygiene and sanitation in its stores and online operations.

“We’re also taking additional measures during this time, which include wiping down checkout areas including the belts and pin pads with disinfectant even more frequently,” the company said.

Over the weekend, Stop & Shop adjusted its hours of operation to 7:30 a.m. — 8:00 p.m. at most stores beginning Monday. Many of its stories had previously been open to 10 or 11 p.m.

Robert Weisman can be reached at robert.weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.