ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Northgate Market, which opened its La Habra doors exclusively to seniors Monday, says it will repeat the special shopping hour at all its 41 stores indefinitely starting Tuesday.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, big box stores and supermarkets have seen long lines as they open its doors and a run on basic necessities like bottled water and toilet paper. The shopping panic has put seniors and disabled citizens at a disadvantage, especially since they are most vulnerable to the coronavirus.
“I was sorry for some of these elderly people because they were getting pushed and shoved and it’s like, hey, we don’t need to do that,” shopper Larry Moreno said.
Starting Tuesday, all Northgate Market locations will open early at 7 a.m. just for seniors and disabled customers. The stores will remain open to the general public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The chain has 19 stores in Los Angeles County, 13 in Orange County, one in Riverside County, and eight San Diego locations.
“We recognize the challenge facing seniors and other at-risk populations and we need to address them by providing them an opportunity to shop for essentials without fear or trepidation,” Miguel Gonzalez, co-president of Northgate Market, said in a statement. “This is just one solution we are looking at to help Southern California residents sustain their health and nourishment needs.”
Only 120 people were allowed at a time inside Northgate’s Norwalk location, to help keep the crowds down and maintain the social distancing recommended by public health officials.
“I wouldn’t be out here unless I had to, because they say to stay indoors, but since I’m the caregiver for the disabled people at home, I’m the only driver? So I have to be outdoors,” shopper Frances Calhoun said.
More and more stores are following suit with their own senior shopping hours, including Trader Joe’s in Monrovia, Grocery Outlet in Altadena, Vallarta, Gardena Market and Super A Foods.