Dollar General in Tehachapi is joining other corporate stores around the country in announcing plans to reserve the first hour of opening for senior shoppers and amend store hours beginning March 17, according to a news release.

“We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO.

Other customers are invited to visit the store after these hours as precautions are being taken to allow senior shoppers most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus to purchase items and avoid hours of more crowded shopping periods, said the release.

“During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often,” added Vasos.

Angela Petkovic, public relations representative for Dollar General, said in an email that all 16,000 stores are participating in these changes.

Along with other stores, the Tehachapi Dollar General is closing one hour earlier than current close times so that employees can clean and restock store shelves.

The store is located at 846 Tucker Road and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.