The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Dollar General devotes hour to shoppers at high risk of coronavirus


March 19, 2020

Charity Smith/Daily Globe

Joyce Johnson shops at Dollar General in Wakefield on Wednesday.


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Wakefield - The Dollar General announced Monday it is requesting the first hour of store operations each day to be designated for customers who are most susceptible to the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities," said Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General, in a statement.

The Wakefield Dollar General is participating in the program that will run from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily.

"It's more of a suggested time or hour, for seniors and those most at risk to have the opportunity to come in and get what they need when everything is freshly cleaned," said Stephanie Gustafson, who manages the Wakefield store. "We are not carding or refusing anyone entry at that time."

Most of the customers who are requesting to participate are older or have health issues that make them vulnerable to the virus, Gustafson said. Eight out of 10 customers she rang up during the dedicated hour on Wednesday were seniors, she said.

"My opinion is that it is being utilized by seniors," Gustafson said.

The unique shopping time was a hit with Wakefield's Joyce Johnson.

"I think it is a good idea, and it gives us seniors a chance to get at those sales first," said Johnson. "See there's a method to my madness."

Dollar General will be closing an hour earlier then usual, at 8 p.m., to give employees time to clean and sanitize the store each day.


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