(WHNT) – Dollar General announced Monday that the chain will dedicate the first hour of every business day to senior shoppers and will close an hour early for cleaning and restocking.

Starting Tuesday, Dollar General is strongly encouraging that the first hour of operations each day be dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors.  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. During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often.”

– Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos

Dollar General wants to provide these at-risk customers with the ability to purchase the items they need and want at the beginning of each day to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.

Other customers are asked to shop around this time frame to allow elderly customers the chance to shop before long lines and crowds form.

All stores will also close one hour earlier than usual to allow employees to clean and refill shelves.

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