Grocery stores remained busy Wednesday as shoppers began to settle in to a new normal of shorter hours, quantity limits and items that were out of stock despite resupply efforts. Major grocery chains and government leaders say supply chains for food and household supplies are strong and supply will catch up with demand.
In his statement to the city about emergency conditions, Baytown Mayor Brandon Capetillo suggested not purchasing more than a week’s supply of necessities.
All of the major Houston-area grocery store chains, and some smaller stores as well, have curbed their business hours.
Until further notice, hours for major Baytown stores are:
Food Town—8 a.m.-8 p.m. every day, with a special hour for senior citizens only from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. each morning.
H-E-B—8 a.m.-8 p.m. every day
Kroger—7 a.m-10 p.m. every day
Walmart—6 a.m.-11 p.m. every day.
Each of these has the same hours for all Houston-area stores.
H-E-B reports on its Careers website that it had a strong response to its request for short-term workers during the crisis and is not currently taking applications. The Kroger website on Wednesday indicated immediate openings are available.
The Baytown Food Town stores are having a good response to their senior citizen shopping hour, which began Tuesday, according to Baytown district manager and store director for the location at Garth and Decker James Paulette.
“It’s been a huge success for us and for them in all of the chaos,” he said.
The first day the store offered it, he said the Garth and Decker location had about 55 or 60 people standing in line when it opened for seniors at 7 a.m.
He said they were lined up with their IDs ready and accepted the store’s policy of requiring a state-issued ID for proof of age during the senior hour. Other people who arrived before the store’s regular opening time at 8 a.m. were also understanding and supportive of the effort to make shopping less stressful for older people.
The purpose of the senior hour, was to let seniors shop in a less crowded store without a lot of people rushing around.
It also was well received at the other Baytown locations, Paulette said.
30 Houston-Area Locations