During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns, Costco and other wholesale stores created hours specifically for the customers most at risk of contracting the virus. In order to ensure that “senior” shoppers could safely browse the aisles without fear of contamination, Costco created a time of day that only allowed the more mature members to enter the store.
The wholesale warehouse chain began its “senior shopping hours” in March 2020. At that time, the number of COVID-19 cases was alarmingly high. At-risk shoppers had exclusive access to the store two times a week. Then, only weeks later, this increased to three times a week. As the number of cases continued to climb, most Costco locations made senior shopping hours available every weekday morning before normal operating hours.
Now that the vaccine is becoming more readily available, Costco announced that normal hours would resume after July 26th. But all too soon, cases of COVID-19 began to rise once again. After careful reconsideration, the wholesale grocery store retracted its original announcement and instead declared that senior shopping hour will continue.
The new senior shopping hour will be from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning on July 26th.
Costco Allows Other Groups into Warehouses During Senior Shopping Hours
Previously, senior shopping hours were open to members over the age of 60. Immunocompromised or disabled shoppers could also enter the warehouse during that time. However, with the new announcement comes new groups of people able to enter the warehouses during this time. All of the previously stated groups will still be able to do their shopping during senior hours. However, they’ll also share the aisles with health care workers and first responders.
According to Costco, this includes pharmacists and hospital workers, firefighters, police officers and EMTs. These shoppers must be able to supply a proper form of ID. Because of their professions, these shoppers will already have their vaccinations and can safely be in the same space as higher-risk populations. Although, the health care workers and first responders can also shop during normal hours, as well.
Warehouse Locations With Separate Senior Hour Scheduling
Almost all Costco locations will adopt the 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. senior shopping hour, but the California and Hawaii warehouses below have different schedules.
- Los Feliz, Northridge, Pacoima, Van Nuys, and Woodland Hills, Ca.: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Sunday through Friday, and 8:30 on Saturdays.
- Culver City, Ca.: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- Richmond, Ca.: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
- Iwilei (Honolulu), Hi.: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Other department, grocery and wholesale stores that have specified senior hours include Target, Aldi, Bj’s and Walmart. Be sure to check your location’s website for new scheduling before making a trip.