Seniors get up early to shop

Many people 60 and over took advantage of the morning hours at Stop and Shop. – Lexi Pline

Stop & Shop opened its doors to shoppers 60 and older from 6 to 7:30 am Thursday. On Friday, only a few seniors took advantage of the early hours at the Edgartown store — perhaps because on opening day it was crowded with shoppers taking advantage of the early hours.

Irene Ziebarth, a Times proofreader, went to the Edgartown store with her husband, Doug West, and reported a sizable crowd.

“I would guess there were about 100 people when we arrived at 6:30,” West said.

The shelves were well-stocked (no sanitizing wipes, which is no surprise), but Ziebarth and West got everything on their shopping list. They also reported the store was clean.

Ziebarth attempted to get others to smile, but was unsuccessful. There was a business-like atmosphere.

“There was a very focused purpose. People wanted to get out as soon as they could,” West said. “There was kind of a grimness to it.”

Stop & Shop staff, checkers and baggers were friendly and helpful, Ziebarth said. “One of them insisted on taking our cart to the car and loading the groceries.”

Both praised Stop & Shop for the gesture to those 60 and older, who are considered among the most vulnerable to coronavirus. Ziebarth also shared a suggestion she saw on social media saying that the stores should make aisles one-way to avoid congestion.

“It’s wonderful what the supermarket is doing,” West said. “I would highly recommend it to any senior.”

Over in Vineyard Haven, another Times colleague and senior, Jim Osborn reported there were six people waiting for the store to open just before 6 am. He didn’t go then, but went back at around 7:15 am when the early hours were ending. “There were not a whole lot of people, but they were exclusively seniors,” he said.

The store was well stocked and clean. “People were in what I call normal spirits, as opposed to depressed,” he said.