How Walmart, H-E-B, Costco and other major stores are changing their hours and policies in response to coronavirus

As the new coronavirus continues to spread despite great social distancing efforts, grocery stores are stepping up to do more in their stores.

Starting this week, Walmart will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet.

H-E-B has already implemented social distancing in its stores by providing floor decals on the ground helping direct customers for how far apart they should stand from people who are nearby.

Here are changes being made at major grocery stores in Houston:


• Costco warehouses will be open on a modified schedule based on location. All locations will close at 6:30 p.m, Monday through Friday.

• Until further notice, Costco warehouses will open from 8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday for members ages 60 and older, and for those with physical impairments.

• Costco is allowing no more than two people to enter the warehouse with each membership card.


• Fiesta stores will be opened for the adjusted store hours of 8 a.m. -10 p.m. until further notice.

• Shoppers who are 65-years-old or older will be able to enter stores to shop an hour early.


• H-E-B stores are using one dedicated entrance to help monitor customer flow.

• Stores have placed floor decals on the ground to inform customers of where they should stand to practice proper social distancing.

• H-E-B has dedicated teams of partners and COVID action managers in each store who are trained to ensure sanitation and social distancing procedures are properly followed.


• Adjusted store hours from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. in the Houston region.

• Kroger is temporarily suspending product returns, with exceptions. Kroger will continue to replace it or issue a refund for any fresh produce, meat, seafood or deli product that does not meet its freshness standards.

Sam’s Club

• Adjusted store hours Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Operating hours on Sunday remain the same, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

• Early shopping hours every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for seniors and those with disabilities or compromised immune systems.

• During special shopping hours, members in need can place their orders from their car while parked in a designated lot at the store location. Then, a Sam’s Club associate will grab the items on the list, and the member will use Scan & Go to check out.

• As a precaution, in-store cafes are temporarily closed.

• Stores are open for the adjusted hours of 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

• As of March 18, all sales are final. Sprouts cannot offer rainchecks or any substitutions at this time.


• Shoppers at Target will be metered in order to better practice social distancing. The number of people in-store at one time will be limited based on the store’s specific square footage.

• Target is temporarily not accepting any in-store product returns or exchanges.

• Target will provide all its team members and Shipt customers with face masks and gloves.

Trader Joe’s

• Trader Joe’s stores will close at 7 p.m.

• Stores will dedicate the first hour of operation every day to serve senior customers over the age of 60 and customers with disabilities who may need additional assistance while shopping.

• Until further notice, Trader Joe’s has suspended all food and beverage sampling in-store.

• Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet. Once capacity is reached, customers will be admitted on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

• Walmart is instituting a one-way movement through aisles using floor markers and direction from associates.

• Once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered, which should help lessen the instances of people closely passing each other.

Whole Foods

• Whole Foods stores will be open the adjusted hours based on location.

• Special hours exclusively for those more at-risk. Guests who are 60-year-old and older can enter stores to shop one hour before the public.

• Whole Foods is partnering with Amazon to expand delivery and pickup options for shoppers.


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