BJ’s Wholesale Club on Friday announced that all 218 of its membership warehouse clubs in the Eastern United States, locations will have an “Appreciation Hour” for first responders and healthcare workers beginning this Sunday, April 19.
During this designated time period — from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Sundays — first responders and healthcare workers can shop in BJ’s locations without a membership.
“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, president and CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based BJ’s Wholesale Club. “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.”
BJ’s is also offering a free, four-month Inner Circle membership to all first responders and healthcare workers, who can sign up for their complimentary membership by visiting the member services desk at their local club store. With this membership, first responders and healthcare workers will be able to shop the club during the designated shopping hour and during standard hours of operation at all locations.
In addition, BJ’s is updating its dedicated shopping hours for members age 60 and over. All locations have a designated shopping hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday for members age 60 and over.
While grocery retailers themselves are increasingly being recognized as community heroes during the coronavirus pandemic, many of these chains are also taking time and resources to recognize and support traditional first responders and medical workers. In addition to offering dedicated shopping hours for these groups, some companies have gone further to express their gratitude.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Southeastern Grocers (SEG), for instance, on April 13 paid the grocery bill for thousands of customers during its reserved shopping hour for healthcare workers and first responders battling coronavirus. The retailer said “community heroes” shopping in all Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie stores across seven Southeastern states were surprised with a $0 grocery total at the register.
Meanwhile, in New York and Boston, Stop & Shop supermarkets are supplying 5,000 fresh meals daily to local hospitals, which are among the nation’s hardest-hit by COVID-19.
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