QUINCY (CBS) – Customers at Stop & Shop locations around Massachusetts were greeted with massive lines while taking advantage of the grocery store’s special hours during the coronavirus pandemic. The block of time is aimed at allowing people over 60 years old to keep a safe distance while getting necessary supplies.

Beginning Thursday, Stop & Shop is among the grocery stores changing hours to help older people, who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. Stores are open from 6-7:30 a.m. every day of the week only for customers 60 and over.

Dusty Maguire from Dorchester arrived Thursday morning at the Quincy location right at 6 a.m.

“It was a nightmare. I was here at 6 o’clock. You couldn’t get into the lot and you couldn’t find a carriage. Then when you got in the store, it was wall-to-wall people. And they can be rude,” said Maguire.

There were similar issues at other stores, including one in Dedham.

Long lines to special shopping hours at Dedham Stop & Shop. (Image Credit: Michael DuRoss)

Maguire said many of the Quincy shelves were empty, the parking lot was extremely crowded, and lines wrapped around the store.

“I wanted to get here at 6 o’clock for the opening. I figured it would be just run in and run out. What a surprise,” said Maguire.

In a statement, Stop & Shop asked shoppers to consider staggering the days they visit the store to ensure it is not as crowded.

Stop & Shop stores are receiving deliveries daily and shelves are filled throughout the day.

“Our special shopping hours for older customers proved to be well attended on the first day, showing that dedicated time for those most vulnerable to shop is clearly something our communities want and need,” the company said.

Comments (6)
  1. Paul Brokmeier says:

    Only one register in Kingston so I jumped to self check-out. No produce, no paper goods, no meats/chicken.
    A waste of time if the market is not stocked.
    Went down the hill to Big Y and got everything I needed except paper goods.

  2. PCL says:

    This is disaster. Do they think that cramming people all in at once is going to make them safer? Stores should be staying open 24/7 instead of keeping shorter hours ; they’ll have plenty of time to clean and re-stock while business is slow.

    1. j f oconnell says:

      is anyone thinking of the people who work in grocery stores? they are considered “essential” workers but are exposed all day to hundreds of shoppers…no social distancing for them. then they are yelled at all day because the shoppers cannot find items they want. not their fault…blame the hoarders who grabbed up all the tp and sanitizing products. these employees are not in the high wage range. give them your thanks instead of your grief.

  3. Bill in Foxboro says:

    I was hoping to go to my local Stop and Shop to buy some fresh items I need during the “senior hours time” (I’m 76 and in pretty good health). I also planned to pick up a prescription of which I have a day and a half of meds left. I tried ordering the meds on line but found the earliest time for pick up was 11:30 a.m. the next day…four hours after the senior window closed. I called the S ‘n S pharmacy there to see if I could get the prescription earlier, and was told the pharmacy didn’t open until 9. That’s no help! I called The corporate office and got a customer service rep who said, “Wow, I guess nobody thought about that!” Seniors are likely to be the folks who need more meds than younger people. I asked the agent to “kick some b—-t” up the line to fix this issue and she thanked me profusely for calling. That was yesterday and I’ve seen nothing from S ‘n S on a solution. Seems everyone may be on their own and some of our political leaders would seem to prefer it that way.

  4. Pamela Garuti says:

    I applaud S&S for what they are doing. I’m in Ct and waited until today. We had no problems. Plenty of carriages, not that crowded, and did my shopping for 3 wks. No waiting to check out. Very organized and customers stayed orderly and courteous. The trick was don’t all go on 1st day. Thank you to S&S and it’s employees for what you do. Please stay safe.

  5. Dolores says:

    I went today at lyndhurst Nj store at 6:30am. No lines. Few people. Some empty shelves as expected. I got everything I wanted checked out and was leaving 40 minutes later. Thank you S&S.

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