Fact Check

Did Walmart Introduce a Staggered Shopping Schedule?

No, but Walmart and other stores have set aside dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens.

Published April 8, 2020

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - APRIL 03:  People wearing masks and gloves wait to checkout at Walmart on April 03, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) (Al Bello/Getty Images)
Image Via Al Bello/Getty Images
A meme details a "staggered shopping schedule" implemented by Walmart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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In April 2020, as cities around the country adopted new social-distancing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus disease, many grocery stores announced that they would be setting aside dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens. These schedule changes can be viewed on the websites of each individual store. We've also compiled a list of the stores that have introduced special shopping hours for seniors, pregnant women, and other at-risk individuals.

While stores and shoppers were adapting to these new guidelines, a meme circulated on social media that claimed Walmart and Sam's Club had introduced a staggered shopping schedule, providing each age group with their own dedicated day for shopping:

This is not a genuine shopping schedule from Walmart or Sam's Club.

When we visited Walmart's website, we were greeted with a link that read, "Coronavirus: What we’re doing to prioritize your health" and led to a page detailing Walmart's response to the pandemic. This page included an announcement about some store hour changes, which we've reproduced in full below:

Effective Mar. 15, our stores and Neighborhood Markets are open from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to further give our associates the time they need to stock products and clean thoroughly. And, of course, in areas with curfews, we want to make sure everyone is able to do their work and be home on time.

Additionally, from March 24 to April 28, our stores will host a senior shopping hour every Tuesday for customers age 60 and older who may be more vulnerable. This will start one hour before the store opens. Our pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.

Looking for the most up-to-date store hours? Check the store finder on our site or app for your local store’s hours, including pharmacy and vision centers.

Walmart will be hosting a senior shopping hour every Tuesday between March 24 and April 28. As of this writing, the store has not announced a daily staggered shopping schedule. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to Reuters that the schedule featured in the above-displayed meme was fake.


Reuters.   "False Claim: Walmart and Sam’s Club Adopt New Shopping Schedule by Age Groups Due to Coronavirus."     20 March 2020.

Liles, Jordan.   "List of Grocery Stores with Special Hours for Seniors, the At-Risk, and Pregnant Women."     Snopes.   20 March 2020.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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