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Supermarket opening hours in the UK for the elderly and vulnerable

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
Yesterday and today I received an email from 2 supermarkets.......Sainsburys and Iceland with information re opening hours and Internet grocery shopping

Both will open at the usual time but the first hour will be reserved for the elderly (over 70) and the vulnerable to get their shopping without being mowed down in the panic buying scrum

There are also other arrangements for those that are online elderly customers who will have priority delivery slots
all information is online so please pass on to anyone who might be able to avail of this service
Best wishes
Annette
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Similar stories here in Dublin/Ireland with some supermarkets. I registered for online shopping with one supermarket and the first available slot is 28th March. I took it. I also am still free to go out, so had no problem this morning in a local shopping street, in three supermarkets. I still have to find dried mushrooms... but I know where to get them and will do so this pm when I take my stroll along by the river. Found flour and buttermilk, so no worries about bread.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Whoever thought up this idea is one kind soul and thankfully the idea went viral. Some of our stores in Canada and the chain Shoppers Drug Mart are also devoting the first hour to the +60s and disabled.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2020)
Had an 18 month secondment with Sainbury's Customer Service HQ and bravo their decision to support the elderly and vulnerable with exclusive shopping opportunities. Entirely within their brief as the standard bearer of British grocers.

My High Point NC Harris Teeter has been busy free from sense of panic (albeit Mr Whipple & his ilk long gone) -- interestingly, not a child in sight.

Ah, those little Camino shops, shelves of chocolate bars (Milka!) hard/impossible to find in USA, blocks of goat cheese in a tiny deli and oh! the ruby bottles of "never-say-cheap-Catherine" -- "exceptionally affordable" -- Rioja! Aie!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
Some stores in Calgary have also instituted early morning shopping for seniors, who are invited to come to shop at 6 am, before the regular 7 am opening. I do not know anyone, certainly no senior, who would get up at 5 am, hours before sunrise, to make her/his precarious way over snowy streets to a grocery store. What is needed is a grocery store that will take orders by phone and have them filled and delivered by staff with extreme care for hygiene. It would be great if the service were free.
Online shopping may be an advantage for some, but many seniors here are not online and still rely on the telephone for communication.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
My local grocery store chain (GIANT) issued the same statement:

"Community Update: New Store Hours for Customers 60+ Only

Now more than ever, it’s vital we come together as a community to support each other during these uncertain times. Part of that is listening, showing compassion, and demonstrating care for some of our neighbors who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. As such, we wanted to update you on some measures we’ve taken to better support you and your families during this time.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, all GIANT stores will open to service only customers who are age 60 and over first from 6:00 a.m.-7:00 a.m. daily. During this time, community members in this age category can avoid crowded shopping to allow for better social distancing. Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for your neighbors. Store team members do reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group.

We are also adjusting our overall hours to 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday to enable our team members to spend more time sanitizing, unloading deliveries and stocking shelves. Rest assured that our stores receive deliveries throughout the day, so our shelves will be replenished for shoppers at all hours. GIANT is also placing a limit of “two” on key categories throughout the store–including paper goods and disinfectant products–so everyone can have access to the items they need.
"

there is more but for the topic - this will survive!

If anything - looks like I dont have to worry about shortage of TP anymore ;)

for clarification info - Giant Food Stores, LLC is an American supermarket chain that operates stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.. The chain operates full-scale supermarkets under the Giant and Martin's banners along with small-scale urban stores under the Giant Heirloom Market banner.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Some stores in Calgary have also instituted early morning shopping for seniors, who are invited to come to shop at 6 am, before the regular 7 am opening. I do not know anyone, certainly no senior, who would get up at 5 am, hours before sunrise, to make her/his precarious way over snowy streets to a grocery store. What is needed is a grocery store that will take orders by phone and have them filled and delivered by staff with extreme care for hygiene. It would be great if the service were free.
Online shopping may be an advantage for some, but many seniors here are not online and still rely on the telephone for communication.

Correct!

I see with my mum , retired, that she takes her time in the morning with breakfast and the paper. She prefers to go around midday for her shopping.

My older and more fragile patients also have to wait for the community nurse to come and help them. Those rounds seldom are done by 9.30 am.

If no one hoards and acts like an idiot in the supermarket then all these extra measures would not be needed.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Some stores in Calgary have also instituted early morning shopping for seniors, who are invited to come to shop at 6 am, before the regular 7 am opening. I do not know anyone, certainly no senior, who would get up at 5 am, hours before sunrise, to make her/his precarious way over snowy streets to a grocery store. What is needed is a grocery store that will take orders by phone and have them filled and delivered by staff with extreme care for hygiene. It would be great if the service were free.
Online shopping may be an advantage for some, but many seniors here are not online and still rely on the telephone for communication.
I understand very well what you are saying, although the fact of making allowances for seniors is a positive note. I don’t think I would bother at 5am! Once people are more used to the notion that this is not just for a week or so, and that the shops will be restocked, hopefully things will return to a semblance of normality so panic buying will fade out. I went into three shops this morning, around 9am, and had no trouble finding what I needed, and no crush of people either.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Here in Slovenia no supermarket chain decided to do such thing as special hour for elderly to buy essentials. I guess there are two reasons for that.

In almost every hallway to the apartments buildings there are notices where younger folks offer to elderly that they can bring them food and anything else they would need from the store. Whereas in the countryside elderly mostly live with their children so problem solved.

Second thing is on-line shopping. Two major supermarket chains open their ordering window at midnight each day but they close it within an hour. And they are over run with orders for next FOUR days. They just can't cope with demand although they employed 100% more people on this part of their business.

So I'm guessing that's why it's hard to see any crowds in the stores over here so elderly can buy for themselves and wouldn't be pushed around with the crowds. I think it's a nice way to do it in this situation.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
I am availing myself of Sainsbury's early opening tomorrow morning for a few odds and ends we need and also for my neighbour who is self-isolation after people became ill on her flight home from Austria at the weekend.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
My local grocery store chain (GIANT) issued the same statement:

"Community Update: New Store Hours for Customers 60+ Only

Now more than ever, it’s vital we come together as a community to support each other during these uncertain times. Part of that is listening, showing compassion, and demonstrating care for some of our neighbors who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. As such, we wanted to update you on some measures we’ve taken to better support you and your families during this time.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, all GIANT stores will open to service only customers who are age 60 and over first from 6:00 a.m.-7:00 a.m. daily. During this time, community members in this age category can avoid crowded shopping to allow for better social distancing. Although we will not be requesting ID for entry, we ask that you please respect the purpose of the early opening – and do the right thing for your neighbors. Store team members do reserve the right to ask customers to leave if they are not a member of this age group.

We are also adjusting our overall hours to 6:00 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday to enable our team members to spend more time sanitizing, unloading deliveries and stocking shelves. Rest assured that our stores receive deliveries throughout the day, so our shelves will be replenished for shoppers at all hours. GIANT is also placing a limit of “two” on key categories throughout the store–including paper goods and disinfectant products–so everyone can have access to the items they need
I got the same message from Giant here in Pennsylvania. I'm 68 and up at 6 every morning anyway, but I'm not planning to head out for groceries. 😊 I went over mid-morning yesterday and the shelves were fully stocked. 👍
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021" ... (GOD WILLING!)
@Bala
Yes, I recall when i just became a Member here I asked you where you were and IIRC you are 'on the other side of Philly" from where I am 👋
I actually start my work day around 6:30am. That said the last time I was in Giant was past Saturday and they were out of TP and Paper plates (among other things as well)
I hit one of the local Russian supermarkets (NetCost - the have them in NY, NJ and Philly: NetCost locations)
and there were no runon, no 'panic' and the shelves were stocked (granted they dont sell TP :))
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
@Bala
Yes, I recall when i just became a Member here I asked you where you were and IIRC you are 'on the other side of Philly" from where I am 👋
I actually start my work day around 6:30am. That said the last time I was in Giant was past Saturday and they were out of TP and Paper plates (among other things as well)
I hit one of the local Russian supermarkets (NetCost - the have them in NY, NJ and Philly: NetCost locations)
and there were no runon, no 'panic' and the shelves were stocked (granted they dont sell TP :))
Right, Chester County, by Longwood Gardens. 😊 Yes, the smaller stores seemed to have plenty, I guess the panic-buyers were looking for volumes, lol. At Giant, the Saturday and Sunday shelves were stripped bare, but on Wednesday when I went again, they were stocking as fast as they could. Hope everything's all right up your way. Bucks county seems to be the hardest hit around here. For now.... 🤷‍♀️
 

Pilgrim Patricia

Want to do the VdlP again!
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata; Hospitalera Miraz 2011
Some stores in Calgary have also instituted early morning shopping for seniors, who are invited to come to shop at 6 am, before the regular 7 am opening. I do not know anyone, certainly no senior, who would get up at 5 am, hours before sunrise, to make her/his precarious way over snowy streets to a grocery store. What is needed is a grocery store that will take orders by phone and have them filled and delivered by staff with extreme care for hygiene. It would be great if the service were free.
Online shopping may be an advantage for some, but many seniors here are not online and still rely on the telephone for communication.
I am 65 and a life-long early-bird. I am more than grateful to have the opportunity to shop at 6:00 a.m. I also have a lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis) which potentially makes me more susceptible to worse complications from COVID-19. At the moment, the streets are not snowy, at least in the central part of Calgary where I live. We're such a big city that I imagine some of the north parts might still be treacherous. I think an attitude of gratitude is warranted, with so many retailers making special efforts to keep us "seniors" safer.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I managed a visit a couple of weeks ago before the panic buying really started and a 'click and collect' at Tesco for a few basics last week. I received only part of what I needed but at least have some sugar for baking :). No slots for 'home delivery, no way to contact them and the early slots for the elderly are not going to work for many of us as over 70s are supposed to 'stay home' or at least keep away from crowded places. The crowd in a supermarket seems to be the opposite of keeping away from crowds..... and our supermarket is some miles away and always busy - usually with older people.

We personally are OK at present but have heard of some who could not place their regular orders, on which they relied anyway, because of no available delivery times.

Maybe those who do get to shop or a delivery will get items for their neighbours. We are blessed with friends and neighbours who do look out for one another.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
I am 65 and a life-long early-bird. I am more than grateful to have the opportunity to shop at 6:00 a.m. I also have a lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis) which potentially makes me more susceptible to worse complications from COVID-19. At the moment, the streets are not snowy, at least in the central part of Calgary where I live. We're such a big city that I imagine some of the north parts might still be treacherous. I think an attitude of gratitude is warranted, with so many retailers making special efforts to keep us "seniors" safer.
Well I am glad that this system works for some Calgarians. I live in Sunnyside and have been out only once or twice in the last two weeks. However, CBC is promising 9 C in Calgary today, so most of the snow and ice in Sunnyside (also central) may disappear. My neighbours live in apartment blocks, where snow is usually cleared, and in old houses, broken up into separate units, where snow is almost never cleared.
I do not know what has happened about store hours in Alberta today. Apparently grocery stores now have cut their hours, to relieve overworked staff and to allow for more thorough cleaning. They are also limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time. This is to make social distancing simpler, but I am wondering how long I may have to wait outside the store before I am let in. I may wait until tomorrow.
I am looking forward to being able to get outside and walk, as the icy sidewalks may be clear for the moment. Mobility is essential for my everyday life, and to prepare for my next camino, whenever that may be. May it be soon, and safe, for all of us pilgrims.
 
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