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Grocers are setting aside shopping hours for seniors, to protect them from COVID-19. (Lynn Friedman / Flickr)

A number of grocers and big-box retailers have announced special shopping hours for senior citizens and others vulnerable to COVID-19 to ensure less crowded situations, as well as access to essential items.

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A sample farmers market to-go box. (Courtesy of Closed Loop Farms)

Closed Loop Farms is leading a group of local food producers to deliver everything from Michelin-worthy greens to naturally fermented sodas directly to your door.

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(WTTW News)

Panic-buying is taking hold of shoppers across the country. Already, toilet paper and hand sanitizer are flying off store shelves. How are grocery stores maintaining their supplies? And will their supply chains hold up under the strain of the crisis?

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(Sharon Mollerus / Flickr)

A couple of Brits created the website howmuchtoiletpaper.com  to help demonstrate need vs. panic buying.

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This combination of March 11, 2020 photos made by investigators with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office shows a $4.47 shelf price sticker for a gallon of Clorox bleach and $8.99 on a price scanner for the same item at a Menards store in Jackson, Mich. (Michigan Attorney General’s Office via AP)

Across a country where lines are long, some shelves are empty and patience is thin, authorities are receiving a surge of reports about merchants trying to cash in on the coronavirus crisis with outrageous prices, phony cures and other scams. 

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Shoppers line up outside Costco in Lincoln Park on Monday, March 16, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois restaurants and bars are preparing for their last call for dine-in business until at least the end of the month. Meanwhile, grocers big and small are scrambling to restock shelves.

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Mullein was a popular wipe in olden days. (John Tann / Flickr)

Here we are a nation on edge, the future uncertain, civilization as we know it seemingly on the brink of collapse. And our very first survival instinct is to hoard toilet paper. 

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(WTTW News)

Art Van, one of the largest furniture retailers in the Midwest, announced Thursday it will shut down all of its 180 stores, including the two dozen it currently operates in Illinois.

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In this Feb. 21, 2020 photo, a worker pushes a cart inside an Amazon Go Grocery store set to open soon in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

Amazon wants to kill the supermarket checkout line. The online retailing giant is opening its first cashier-less supermarket, where shoppers can grab milk or eggs and walk out without waiting in line or ever opening their wallets. 

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Classic plum butter paczki at Kolatek’s Bakery. (Patty Wetli / WTTW)

Chicago’s Polish bakeries have to prep for two Paczki Days: Fat Thursday, celebrated by Poles, and Fat Tuesday, celebrated by everyone else.

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State Street in Chicago (WTTW News)

Every year, millions of people visit State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. But is the street working the way it should? That’s the question the Chicago Loop Alliance is asking as it considers what State Street could be.

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In this Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, photo, scientist and study director Jennifer Molignano notates the time she begins dosing living human skin tissues with two types of commercially available skin care products during a demonstration of experiments at a MatTek Corporation lab, in Ashland, Massachusetts. (AP Photo / Steven Senne)

California, Nevada and Illinois all saw new laws take effect this year that ban the sale or import of animal-tested cosmetics. 

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(amyelizabethquinn / Pixabay)

While no infant fatalities or injuries have so far been reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says consumers should stop using the recalled products immediately. 

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In this Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, photo, a North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is for sale in Lenoir, N.C. A Christmas tree shortage is being blamed on the Great Recession. Poor sales a decade ago, limited the number of trees planted, which are being harvested this year. (AP Photo / Sarah Blake Morgan)

Christmas tree supplies are tight again this year across the U.S., depending upon location and seller. The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees when times were especially tough.

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In this Nov. 29, 2019, file photo people walk by a Black Friday promotional at Cookie's department store in the Brooklyn Borough of New York. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews, File)

Holiday marketers have your number, and they know how to entice you to spend. However, you can position yourself to recognize – and overcome – overspending triggers.

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Malort – Chicago’s most infamous liquor – makes our 2019 holiday gifts list. (star5112 / Flickr)

Holiday shopping can be stressful – but it doesn’t have to be. To help spread seasonal cheer, WTTW News staffers picked our favorite local options.