Older citizens are most vulnerable to coronavirus, but these residents still need to access critical food supplies. To protect and provide for older citizens, some Iceland supermarkets in the UK are reserving time for senior residents to come shop in peace without the stress and health risks of large crowds.
The policy is not company-wide, but stores such as the Kennedy Centre store in West Belfast will allow senior citizen shopping only from 08:00 to 09:00 every day. Iceland’s Food Warehouse store in Thanet will also open one hour earlier at 07:00 for senior shoppers. The idea was prompted by social media posts concerned about senior access to safe and peaceful shopping conditions.
Other industries are hopping on board with the idea as well. The building society, Nationwide, will open its branches an hour early for patrons with compromised immune systems.
Although many people are buying up extra goods in anticipation of social distancing measures, Bruno Monteyne, senior analyst at European Food Retail, says the system has enough food and supplies to meet demand. Retailers have encouraged patrons to practice “considerate shopping” including avoiding stockpiling necessities such as toilet paper, behaving politely and calmly in stores, and buying appropriate amounts of food for their household needs.
Coronavirus concerns have created an increased demand for supermarket goods, especially hygiene supplies and non-perishables, but seniors, who are most vulnerable to the disease, may not feel comfortable or safe visiting crowded stores. Creating designated times for at-risk populations to shop comfortably is a great solution for ensuring that these citizens are well-supplied and feel supported in their communities.