New supermarket hours for seniors and other at-risk groups

Genevieve Ko
Northgate Market and other Southern California supermarkets offer senior-only shopping hours.  (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Some Southern California supermarkets are establishing store hours exclusively for seniors, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

Northgate Market has already implemented its daily 7 to 8 a.m. window for “senior citizens and disabled customers.” Starting tomorrow, all 50 locations of Vallarta Supermarkets will follow suit with the same time frame and will include pregnant women as well. All Gelson’s locations will begin a seniors-only shopping hour tomorrow as well starting at 7 a.m.

The three markets define seniors as those 65 years and older and all recommend bringing identification, as it may be checked.

Orange County-based Mother’s Markets has established a “Safe Shop” program for “elderly, disabled, those with compromised immune systems, chemo patients, etc.” every Wednesday from 6 to 7 a.m. and free home delivery for the same population.

Store representatives from Whole Foods in Burbank and Beverly Hills said 7 to 8 a.m. would be for at-risk shoppers only. The store manager of the Beverly Hills location anticipated the same would be implemented chainwide in Southern California soon.

Ruoqui Lial, the marketing director of 99 Ranch, said all of its stores nationwide would begin a similar initiative starting Monday. The company is finalizing details now.

Most supermarkets across Southern California have modified hours generally; be sure to check their websites for updates.

Times test kitchen assistant Julie Giuffrida contributed to this report.