- Costco is reducing its daily senior shopping hours to twice a week from July 13.
- It introduced the hours to its US stores at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic so that elderly and disabled customers could avoid crowds.
- As retailers across the US have started to reopen and lockdown restrictions have eased, the company is looking to get back to normal.
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Costco has quietly cut back its senior shopping hours, which were introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to let elderly and disabled customers avoid crowds while they shop.
Most Costco stores in the US offer a daily hour for vulnerable shoppers. On July 13, this will be cut to twice a week – Tuesday and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
At the start of the pandemic, the warehouse chain was inundated with shoppers stocking up on bulk goods. Videos and photos shared by shoppers online in March showed giant lines outside stores and bare shelves inside.
But retailers across the US have now begun to reopen as lockdown restrictions ease, and the company wants to return to normal, or as close to normal as it can get.
Last month, Costco also brought back its widely-popular free food samples to at least 30 of its more than 500 US stores. The samples were pulled from stores in March over hygiene concerns.
According to Bloomberg, which was first to report the news of their return, samples will now be prepackaged and kept behind plexiglass shields, and customers will have to wait to be served.
Costco’s CFO Richard Galanti told Bloomberg that the company is waiting to see what works, but plans to roll samples out to more stores gradually.
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