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Walmart to host a senior shopping hour during the coronavirus pandemic

Store hours nationwide are adjusting to allow employees to keep the shelves stocked and sanitize the store.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart stores across the U.S. will adjust operating hours to better accommodate older Americans in a sweeping effort to limit customers' exposure to COVID-19 coronavirus.

The company in a blog post announced its stores will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8:30 p.m. each day. Stores that open later than 7 a.m. will continue their regular starting hours, Walmart said.

The adjustment allows employes to restock the shelves and sanitize the store before customers arrive.

Walmart also will have an hour-long period each Tuesday for customers aged 60 or older, staring an hour before the store opens to the general public. It starts Tuesday, March 24, through April 28.

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Walmart says it will limit how much customers can buy in certain categories, including paper products, milk, eggs, cleaning supplies, baby food and more.

The announcement comes in step with other nationwide retailers, including Target and Dollar General, adjusting hours to allow those who are more at-risk for coronavirus a chance to avoid more crowded shopping periods.

"I think every one of us has had to adjust our daily routines in some way, and it’s likely that could continue," said Dacona Smith, the company's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "I think every one of us has had to adjust our daily routines in some way, and it’s likely that could continue. 

"We are paying very close attention to our stores and communities and will continue making the necessary changes to help make sure our associates are taken care of and that our customers can get what they need."

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