Morton Williams Holding ‘Senior Hours’ Before Regular Opening; Whole Foods Market Too

Morton Williams is giving seniors a special period of time when they can buy groceries before other customers are allowed into the store.

From 7 to 8 a.m., the stores are trying to let older people and others who are vulnerable shop first, to give them an extra sense of security that they’re not exposing themselves to the coronavirus by walking around crowded spaces. “We are asking our customers to please prioritize the hours of 7 am – 8 am for our senior citizens and compromised neighbors. Those most vulnerable in our communities would greatly appreciate it,” the company says. The stores are also sanitized several times a day, the company said.

There are Morton Williams locations on West End Avenue and 59th, and at 116th Street and Broadway.

Update: “Starting Wednesday, all Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public,” The New York Times reported. “The company, which is owned by Amazon, has approximately 500 stores throughout the U.K., Canada and in 42 U.S. states.” The UWS stores are located at 808 Columbus Avenue (around 97th) and 10 Columbus Circle.

And Pioneer at 74th and Columbus too:

Are other stores doing this? We’ve been asking around, but let us know if you’ve heard of it.

FOOD, NEWS | 39 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      Bravo Morton Williams and any other store who does this. Anyone not a senior should not be allowed into the store during those hours. Show some respect for our elders!

    2. Franklin C. Southworth says:

      Oy! You want me to get out of bed at 6 in the morning? Thanks but no thanks.

    3. ben says:

      WFM announced a similar policy today. Not sure if local locations will start tmr.

    4. Debra says:

      Key Food on Amsterdam between 86-87th has senior shopping for 65+ from 7-8:00 am Monday-Friday.

    5. Sue says:

      Good idea, But not sure why people think seniors want to shop at 7 am?

      • Ladybug says:

        Because that’s when their is food on the shelves!!!

      • Josh B says:

        Because Seniors get up early

      • West Ender says:

        Maybe it’s not that seniors want to shop at 6am, but rather to give them first dibs at groceries that go quickly (so they don’t have to fight the crowds) and/or so the store is freshly opened and clean rather than at the end of the day when everything is germy and picked over.

      • West Ender says:

        Maybe it’s not that seniors want to shop at 7am, but rather to give them first dibs at groceries that go quickly (so they don’t have to fight the crowds) and/or so the store is freshly opened and clean rather than at the end of the day when everything is germy and picked over.

    6. Jan says:

      Whole Foods is open to seniors.. 60+ from 7 to 8..

    7. Kdluther says:

      60+? Yes, finally a positive!

    8. Susan Schwartz says:

      Key Foods is actually between 85 and 86 on west side of Amsterdam. Glad to know they are letting seniors shop early…

    9. NY10024 says:

      So my mom heard other stores were holding senior hours. She called Key Foods and told them. They evidently listened! Go mom!

    10. Maryellen says:

      Speaking as a senior, I’m grateful to those stores that are opening early for the benefit of myself and my vulnerable neighbors. I don’t mind if others sleep in — that means fewer people to contend with in the early morning hours. Many thanks to the workers who are sacrificing their zzzzz’s to serve us, too.

    11. JS says:

      Great concept, but it’s still almost dark out at 7 a.m. What senior (I’m one) wants to get up and go out then?

      • SenioRita says:

        I do!
        Better selection, no strollers, nobody whining about shortages of toilet paper and Tostitos. I don’t fool myself that everything on the shelves has been sanitized, but at least I can assume that the counters and floors have been cleaned and that the cashiers’ vinyl gloves are a bit less contaminated than later in the day.
        Sleep late? I figure I can do that when I shuffle off this planet.

    12. Merrick says:

      Yes Whole Foods at Columbus Circle as well as Key Foods 590 Amsterdam ( 65+).
      I got this information from our assemblywoman ‘s email with a lot of information.

    13. Lesli Klein says:

      Heard Whole Foods was doing the same.

    14. Violet says:

      To the naysayers: early means stores are still clean/freshly sanitized for the elderly before the masses arrive and early morning deliveries are still avail for the elderly before the masses clear the sleeves.

    15. Karen says:

      it seems all Whole Foods markets are opening an hour early for seniors, not just Columbus Circle:

    16. chase says:

      are they disinfecting everything before they go in?

    17. Diane says:

      Pioneer Supermarket (289 Columbus, between 73/74th) also has ‘senior hours’ (8:00 – 8:30a). I got there just as the store was opening; the line to get in was short and shelves were reasonably re-stocked. I had been alarmed at dearth of bread at other stores. Pioneer had bread as well as toilet paper and paper towels. Limited availability of meat. Kudos to this store for stepping up.

    18. Judith M. Amory says:

      So what’s wrong with Westside Market???

      • Karen says:

        West Side Market is open for seniors from 7 am to 8 am. And they are better stocked than a lot of other stores in the neighborhood.

    19. Susan S. says:

      I went to Key Foods this morning at around 7:15. The shelves had not been restocked and there were families in there, with young children! I spoke to the manager, who said, despite what we’ve been told, there is a supply chain issue, that he ordered 5 boxes of toilet paper and received only 1. He was busy, so i didn’t press him on the other issues, but I wish I had…

    20. aj says:

      seniors / immunocompromised: please also utilize free delivery services ( — as highlighted in the WSR!) if you don’t want to be outside

    21. SFPNP says:

      I went to the Whole Foods “senior hour” this morning. Not many senior shoppers but … way too many Instacart order fulfillment people crowding the aisles and not maintaining effective social distance. Not much on the shelves at 7AM (whether this was because Instacart got there first or there is just nothing left is unknown to me). Will not be going back …

    22. Sue L says:

      To me, early shopping hrs for seniors = a total contradiction to the prevailing wisdom that seniors should stay home—just one more of the many “conflicts of interest” in these parlous (and perilous) times.

    23. Janis says:

      It certainly would be nice if Trader Joe’s did the same.

    24. Ellen Azorin says:

      I think this is a terrific and compassionate idea, but why is it assumed that seniors go shopping so early in the morning? What about an hour in the middle of the day?

    25. Suzie E says:

      This is a great idea and a great service to those of us who need to be particularly careful about being in crowds. I so look forward to being able to choose food in person rather than on a web site. Thank you all!

      AND, in a genuine question not meant to diminish this excellent idea…

      Look, I have lived in this burg for nigh-on 40 years. And there is something I *do not understand* — WHY do NYC businesses, theaters, you name it, give their addresses as ### Avenue? Does everyone but me know the cross street by looking at the building number? Why not go to the not-huge effort to indicate ### Broadway at X Street, or between X & Y? Seriously, can anyone tell me? It’s just so *stupid*! Thank you, fellow citizens!

      • Barbara Bryan says:

        Right on Suzie about business addresses. But also, why on earth do so many stores not make their Avenue # visible so the customer can far more easily find their way?

    26. Flaca says:

      Retired seniors are not necessarily up at that time.
      Also many Items are not available at that time either.
      But thanks for trying.

    27. Marion Thunberg says:

      What about Fairway???

    28. Jane T says:

      It says Whole Foods is opening for seniors before regular hours starting on Wednesday. Which Wednesday? And which hours at each of the upper west side stores?

    29. Juan says:

      To everyone complaining about early being hard for seniors: it is a lot easier for the stores to have seniors come at the start of the day then open up to everyone else than to clear out the store of everyone else in the middle of the day.

      And remember, these stores are often struggling to stay afloat – be appreciative for what you are getting. If it is that hard to get up in the morning, either go home after shopping and take a nap or order from Fresh Direct.

      Sometimes I am really embarrassed to live in this neighborhood – people are always looking for something to complain about…

    30. Bob Neuman says:

      What about Key food at 97 and Amsterdam–are they open early for seniors?