Dollar General announced Monday that it's asking all of its stores to dedicate the first hour of each shopping day to only senior shoppers.
The company said the dedicated "Senior Hour" would give those most at-risk for coronavirus a chance to avoid more crowded shopping periods.
Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said in a statement that the company is diligently working to meet the needs of its customers and communities.
"In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors," Vasos said. "We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices.”
As of Jan. 31, Dollar General operated 16,278 stores in 44 states.
Dollar General also said that starting on Tuesday all of its stores will close one hour earlier to give employees more time to clean and re-stock store shelves.
The White House on Monday issued new guidelines on the coronavirus.
It's urging all older Americans to stay home, everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants, and gatherings to be limited to no more than 10 people. The guidelines are for the next 15 days as the country tries to blunt the pandemic.
Several major retailers, including Walmart and Kroger, have also changed store hours to focus on stocking and sanitizing locations.