BJ's launches coronavirus first responder shopping hour across stores

Wholesale club reserves shopping hours, free memberships for emergency workers at front of COVID-19

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While other retailers are designating times for seniors and at-risk customers to shop safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, BJ’s Wholesale Club is reserving an hour for first responders and health care workers across its stores between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on Sundays.

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This “Appreciation Hour” will even extend to eligible workers who are not current members of the warehouse club so they can stock up on essential bulk goods that will last them throughout the coronavirus outbreak.

The entrance to a BJ's Wholesale Club store in New York, Aug. 18, 2008. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

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BJBJS WHSL CLUB HLDGS INC34.72+0.57+1.67%

BJ’s new policy will go into effect starting Sunday, April 19.

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“We are incredibly grateful for everything that our first responders and healthcare workers are doing to keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Lee Delaney, the president and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, in a company statement. “We’re proud to offer a designated shopping hour to first responders and healthcare workers as a small way to say thank you for their hard work and dedication.”

For first responders and health care workers who need to shop outside of the company’s Appreciation Hour, BJ’s is offering a free four-month BJ’s is also offering a free, four-month Inner Circle membership to accommodate various schedules amid this crisis.

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Memberships will be distributed to first responders and health care workers after they visit a member services desk at their local club.

Competing members-only wholesalers such as Sam’s Club and Costco have implemented new policies to help out first responders as well.

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At Sam’s Club, an hour has been reserved on Sundays that the company is referring to as a “Hero Hour.” Costco, on the other hand, has established shopping hours and “priority access” like line-skipping for first responders and health care workers who are at the frontlines of fighting this pandemic.

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COSTCOSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION312.04+1.29+0.42%

Aside from providing a time slot for critical workers to shop at its stores, BJ’s has updated its dedicated shopping hours for members age 60 and over at all locations, which will take place between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. from Monday to Saturday.

Local club operating hours can be found at bjs.com/locations. Alternatively, members can shop online on BJ’s website and schedule a pickup order or home delivery.

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