Costco reverses course and will keep reduced senior hours as COVID-19 cases increase nationwide
Costco Wholesale will continue to offer special hours of operation for members 60 and older and at-risk buyers as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Weeks after announcing it would end senior hours on July 26, the retailer changed course, instead reducing it from five days a week to twice-weekly events.
"Instead of discontinuing the hiring, we will be maintaining senior opening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice," Richard Galanti, Costco's chief financial officer, told USA TODAY.
As of the week of July 26, the reserved shopping time in most clubs for senior buyers, members with disabilities or the immunocompromised is Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., the retailer announced on its COVID-19 update page.
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The update comes as new coronavirus infections rise in all 50 states and hospital admissions rise alarmingly across the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University released last week.
Like most of the major grocery stores in the country, Costco began setting special shopping hours in March 2020 to help those who the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered the most susceptible and at risk to COVID-19.
Costco started its Senior Hours as a twice-weekly event and quickly expanded to three times a week. When the clubs resumed normal opening times at the beginning of May 2020, the clubs extended the opening times for seniors at most locations to midweek mornings.
Last summer, Costco originally announced plans to cut the extra hours to twice a week in July 2020, but not cut the hours as cases increased. Instead, Costco said at the time that the hours would last indefinitely.
Walmart, Target, BJ's Wholesale Club and Aldi are among the retailers who still have special opening hours for seniors on their websites. Opening times and criteria vary depending on the location. Trader Joe's has cut senior opening hours in most of its stores.
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Costco senior times and exceptions
Costco's special hour for senior shoppers, members with disabilities, or people with immunodeficiency now takes place twice a week Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in warehouses in the United States and Puerto Rico, with limited exceptions.
The opening times of all locations can be found at Costco.com/warehouse-locations. Members and guests who do not meet the criteria will not be accepted. The following clubs are the exceptions listed on the COVID-19 update page:
California Costco Clubs with Exceptions
Culver City: Special operating hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Temecula: Special opening times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Hawaii Costco Club with one exception
Iwilei (Honolulu): Special opening times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
New York Costco clubs with exceptions
Brooklyn: Special opening hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Westbury: Special opening hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Featuring: Jordan Culver and John Bacon, USA TODAY
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Costco Hours Change for Seniors: Clubs offer COVID-19 hours twice a week
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