Sam's Club, Publix launching 'Hero Hours' for first responders, at-risk customers during COVID-19 pandemic

More retailers are trying to make life easier on first responders and at-risk customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering specialized hours just for them.

Starting Sunday, Sam's Club is setting aside two hours every Sunday morning for 'hero hours' where first responders and healthcare employees can shop without a membership. Hero Hours are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and shoppers will be provided with masks.

Publix will be extending its hours on certain days for first responders and hospital staff. Starting Thursday, the grocery store chain will designate shopping hours on Thursday evenings from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday mornings from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. exclusively for first responders and hospital staff. The pharmacy will also be open.

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Walmart is helping those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus with a designated pickup hour at select locations. Customers 60 and over as well as others considered high-risk can get purchases brought into their vehicles to limit interaction with associates.

These customers won't have to sign for their orders. Walmart also added floor decals at entrances, exits and checkout lanes to help customers judge the proper social distance from each other.

Earlier this month, Costco announced it's temporarily allowing priority access to their warehouses during all open hours to Costco members who are healthcare workers and first responders.

At Starbucks, all police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital workers and medical researchers can grab a free tall coffee--hot or iced--at participating locations.
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