Richard and Gwen Birchfield figure they’ve been shopping at the Meijer at Rochester Road and Auburn in Rochester Hills for more than 30 years, since the store first opened.
And the couple couldn’t be happier about the Thursday announcement from the Grand Rapids-based chain that its stores would be changing their operating hours, including dedicating an hour to seniors every Tuesday and Thursday in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
“I like the idea they’re opening early for seniors,” said Gwen Birchfield, who is 80 years old and has lived in Rochester Hills basically her entire life. “I think that’s very good.”
Meijer announced Thursday it is adjusting its store hours for the foreseeable future to allow more time for team members to deep clean and restock its stores, as well as dedicated hours for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, essential service workers and its team members.
Richard Birchfield, who said “this is where we shop,” agreed with Meijer’s plan to not only do the deep-clean, but to restock shelves.
“I like the idea they’re going to clean,” he said. “And the shelves have been empty, so it’s good that they’re restocking.”
The changes at Meijer begin today (March 20) and are as follows:
- Meijer stores will close overnight at 10 p.m. local time and will open each morning at 8 a.m. local time.
- Meijer Express convenience store locations will close overnight at 10 p.m. and open each morning at 8 a.m.; pay-at-the-pump fuel sales will remain available 24 hours a day.
- Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for senior citizens and customers with chronic health conditions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
- Meijer stores and pharmacies will provide dedicated shopping times for essential service workers and Meijer team members on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8 a.m. local time.
“These are unprecedented times that require appropriate action to ensure we are supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our adjusted store hours will ensure all of our customers have access to the products they need in the cleanest shopping environment possible.”
Essential service workers include all medical workers, first responders and law enforcement. Meijer is asking its customers and the public to please respect the times for these important groups.
Mike Angle of Novi comes frequently to the Rochester Hills Meijer to help a friend with her shopping. While he’s glad the store is making adjustments, he wishes they were coming sooner.
“I’m for it,” Angle said. “I don’t mind coming early. I’m just surprised they’re waiting until Tuesday to start it.”
Meijer’s Keyes said the store will be monitoring the situation.
“As we continue to evaluate the store hours that will best serve all our customers, it’s more important than ever for us to work together for the greater good of our communities,” Keyes said. “All of us at Meijer are proud to serve our customers and we will continue to work through these challenging times together.”