EL CENTRO — In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), large chain stores as well as other businesses in Imperial Valley have adjusted their hours of operation.
Some stores have even implemented designated shopping times for senior citizens, their caretakers, first responders and special needs customers.
Vons: For both Vons stores in the Valley (El Centro and Brawley), special shopping days have been designated.
From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Mondays to Fridays, this time will be for customers who are seniors (65 and older), pregnant and those with a disability or compromised immune system.
These hours went into effect on Wednesday.
The current hours of operation for both stores are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The pharmacy at both locations will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Saturdays.
Cardenas Market: Starting today, both Cardenas Markets in the Valley (Calexico and El Centro) will reserve its first hour of the business day for seniors and first responders.
A news release from Cardenas Markets said setting aside the first hour for seniors and first responders will continue until further notice.
“Cardenas Markets will be reserving its first hour of being open to ensure its customers may shop for their daily groceries in a safe and worry-free environment,” the news release stated.
“We have been working closely with our food suppliers to ensure that high demand items become available and are placed on the store shelves as quickly as possible,” Adam Salgado, chief marketing officer for Cardenas Markets, said. “We also continue to address and monitor the safety of our stores, our team members and our customers as we attempt to provide the best service possible.”
Target: As of Wednesday, Target in El Centro will close at 9 p.m.
Also starting Wednesday, Target reserved the first hour of shopping each Wednesday for vulnerable guests – including elderly and those with underlying health concerns.
Every Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., will be designated for older adults (60+) and those who have compromised immune systems.
The retailer is encouraging other guests to plan their shopping trips around this timeframe.
The hours of operation for the store are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Saturday.
“Families are counting on Target for critical supplies during this challenging time, and we’ll continue to do all that we can to keep our stores open,” Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO of Target, said. “For weeks, we’ve been responding to the impact of the coronavirus by taking care of our team, rigorously cleaning our stores and helping our guests find the food, medicine and other essentials they need for themselves and their families.”
Walmart: Starting today, all three Walmart stores in the Valley (Calexico, El Centro and Brawley) will be open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until further notice.
“This will further help associates restock the shelves for customers while continuing to clean and sanitize the store,” a news release from Walmart stated. “While the store hours change for customers, our associates will continue to have access to their regular scheduled shifts and full hours.”
Beginning Tuesday through April 28, the stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers ages 60 and older.
This will start one hour before the stores opens. The stores’ pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time. Vision centers will operate on their normal schedule.
The auto care centers at each store will temporarily shut down until further notice to allow those associates to focus on stocking and cleaning in the rest of the store.
Dollar General: Since Monday, Dollar General in Calipatria has closed at 9 p.m. — an hour earlier than its current close times — and opened daily at 8 a.m.
“All stores plan to close one hour earlier than current close times to allow employees to clean and re-stock store shelves, as well as for their health and wellbeing,” a news release from Dollar General said. “Stores will continue to maintain current opening hours.”
Dollar General Market in El Centro is currently open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Sunday.
On Tuesday, both stores began offering senior store hours, which are designed to allow vulnerable shoppers the ability to shop during the first hour that the store is open to avoid busier and more crowded shopping periods.
“For customers who can wait an hour, we strongly encourage you to plan your shopping accordingly to help support our at-risk customers,” the news release stated.
Dollar General in Calexico has yet to open, although is slated to open sometime next week and have the same business hours as the Calipatria location.
Smart and Final: Since Sunday, Smart & Final Extra in El Centro temporarily modified its operating hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Temporary store hours will be effective until further notice and are due to the unique circumstances COVID-19 has created nationwide,” a news release from Smart & Final stated. “The reduced hours allow us sufficient time to thoroughly clean our stores, restock merchandise and ensure a safe and healthy shopping experience for our customers and employees.”
Beginning Wednesday, the store began opening 30 minutes early, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., to accommodate shoppers aged 65 years or older, customers with disabilities and pregnant women.
The store opens to the general public from 8 a.m. until closing.
Food 4 Less: Both Food 4 Less stores in the Valley (El Centro and Calexico) are currently open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
No mention of designed hours set aside for seniors or first responders was on the store’s corporate website.
Imperial Valley Mall: As of Wednesday, the Imperial Valley Mall in El Centro is open with its normal business hours; however, certain stores and restaurant hours now vary.
“Certain stores and restaurants are following their own corporate or owner guidelines for temporary closures and modified operating hours,” a news release from the mall stated.
Gran Plaza Outlets: As of Tuesday, though March 29, the Gran Plaza Outlets in Calexico has adjusted its hours of operation: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday.
Starting today at 11 a.m., the plaza will be giving away toilet paper at its bus stop entrance (in front of Levi’s) to customers 55 years old and older.
The plaza stated it has a total of 250 packages, and will be handing them out (two rolls per person) until supplies last.