Crowd Calendar/Touring Plans for shopping during quarantine (semi-satire)

I type this tongue firmly planted in cheek, but the thought occurred to me the other day as I was socially-distancing myself in the now Hunger Games-like ritual of a routine grocery run to Costco, Target and Publix: How great would a crowd calendar and touring plan be for all of this? For those who can’t wait for weeks to have groceries delivered to their doorsteps, this would actually be a very helpful tool. Anecdotally, I can say that the least crowded times are at rope drop on a weekday (but not a weekday where stores open early for “extra magic hours” for seniors and those most at risk) for any of the above mentioned stores. You definitely don’t want to go on a weekend or a holiday. You also need to explore different locations where social-distancing is better enforced and practiced. Best I’ve seen is at Costco - they’ve barricaded everything down to one line to enter and they pulse people in and out, with an employee ensuring the 6ft space between those waiting to get in, and they’re limited to 2 people per Costco membership. The aisles are already wide enough to accommodate this once inside the store, unlike at Target and Publix, where the aisles make it impossible to remain 6ft away from someone while passing by them. Then at the checkout, Costco has taped spaces on the floor where people are to stand, with an employee on hand making sure people are using them properly. Also, plexiglass separators between you and the cashier.
Things are a bit spottier at Target and Publix. For instance, at the Publix closest to my house, the local shoppers there simply don’t practice social-distancing to any great degree. Last Thursday I had a guy up my butt the entire time in the checkout line. I eventually gave him the evil eye (from behind the heavy winter scarf wrapped around my face - don’t have a mask per se, but this seems to work) and told him to go ahead. He asked me if I had some kind of problem. I then schooled him on the finer points of what does and does not constitute 6ft. Rest assured he is crystal clear on the matter now. The Target right next door is another story altogether. They have self-checkout, which is a godsend these days. They also have taped spaces on the floor to wait in and employees on hand ensuring distancing is being practiced. The aisles aren’t quite so wide but people seem to be noticeably more concerned w/keeping their distance. Same thing with the Publix just a few miles up the road - employees monitoring distancing and people more strict about practicing it.
Anyway, just thought I’d share. And Len, if you’re reading this, I’ll volunteer to report crowd levels and wait times next time I make a grocery run :wink:
Hope all are staying safe & sane through all of this. Thank you touringplans for the content during this downtime. Keep up the good work!


I’ve found success in going about 20 min after RD. No more than a 10 min wait, and passed lines of at least 20-30 min when I exited the store several times.

I wish they’d make our grocery store aisles one way to promote social distancing as I’ve heard some have done.

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You cracked me up with the ‘extra magic hours’ :laughing:.
On the crowd reporting front - Sunday (the one before Easter) I waited 40 min to enter the store and 30 min more to pay at check out.
Yesterday at 4 pm the wait to enter was only 5 min and zero wait at check out. Success!

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I’ve only been out about 4 times but I haven’t waited more than 10 mins for any of them.