1 September 2021
 

Dear Customers,

With the current lockdowns now entering Week 10 in NSW and Week 4 in Victoria, I wanted to provide an update to all Australians on how we’re supporting our team, customers and the communities we serve. 

Our dedicated team...

We are deeply appreciative of our team members on the front line, whether in Stores, Distribution Centres or out making deliveries. They are feeling the impacts of Delta very directly, with more than 3,300 team members currently in isolation on the advice of local health authorities.

 Also a huge thank you to team members across the country who have rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated. We’ve already had 3,000++ jabs at our on-site Distribution Centre clinics in NSW and VIC, plus thousands more thanks to priority vaccination slots from NSW Health.

Why are some products not available?

You may have noticed some gaps on shelf this week, or substitutions in your online order. Unlike 18 months ago, this is less to do with surges in customer demand (aka “the toilet paper wars”) and more because of the extra pressure on our Distribution Centres, with over 500 of those team members needing to self-isolate as close or casual contacts. The good news is that these team members, having tested negative, are starting to be cleared to come back to work. 

If you’re shopping online in NSW and the ACT, you’ll notice that currently we are automatically allowing substitutions on all orders given the demand pressure. We know this isn’t ideal, but it does mean there’s less chance of missing out on an essential item. We’ll revert to your preference as soon as we possibly can.

Our sustainable collectible program, Woolworths Bricks, starts on 8th September, which we hope will bring a little joy to families everywhere. However in NSW and the ACT, we have postponed the start to 22nd September to help those teams prioritise food and essentials – plus we’ve set aside a full allocation of packs to help make sure no-one misses out.

Why can’t I get my preferred home delivery slot?

Demand has grown rapidly, with more than 330,000 people choosing to shop with us online for the first time since July.  We are also prioritising close to 1 million online customers registered for Priority Assistance, who are either in mandatory isolation or considered vulnerable.

Our team is working hard to add more online windows across NSW, particularly for those most impacted in Greater Sydney. Thank you in advance for your patience as we work through this.

Are our stores COVIDSafe?

Yes, they are safe and it is critical we all help keep them safe. Please continue to maintain social distancing, wear a mask and use the QR code to check in and out. The Woolworths App can help you be as efficient as possible, by making lists before you leave and organising items by aisle. 

Beating the Delta Blues together

I read a lot of customer feedback and the sense of frustration due to Delta is palpable. 

Our slow cooking and scratch baking adventures from last year have turned into meal shortcuts, and we’re seeing growth in chilled and frozen food categories that make life a little easier.

We also understand that the current challenges are having an impact on our collective mental health, so it is more important than ever to look out for each other and ourselves.

Thank you again for your support and take care.

Brad Banducci

CEO Woolworths Group

Previous updates


30 July 2021 (NSW only)

Dear NSW Customers,

We find ourselves once again caught up in the rapidly changing environment of COVID and the Delta variant as current events in Greater Sydney demonstrate.

It is now clear that accelerating the rate of vaccination in Australia is key to protecting our communities and loved ones and the easing of restrictions. It is also essential to ensuring our teams are able to continue to provide food to Australian communities - something they do with pride every day. 

This is why we are advocating for all our teams to be vaccinated as soon as possible – as and when supply allows – and remain committed to playing our part in supporting vaccination efforts across the broader community wherever we can. 

With this in mind, we have been working with the State and Federal Governments, as well as other Food Retailers to understand how we can speed up the vaccine rollout for our team members working in Food Distribution Centres and Stores. These are the current actions we are taking:

  • We are establishing pop-up vaccination clinics at key food-related Distribution Centres in South West Sydney with assistance from the Federal Government, to provide teams working onsite access to vaccines

  • Store teams in the five most-affected LGAs in South West Sydney are now able to secure early appointments with help from the NSW Government at the nearby Homebush Vaccination Centre.

  • We are providing up to 8 hours of paid leave for full-time and part-time team members to receive their vaccination.

These are important steps in helping protect our team so they can continue to provide food for all Australians. As always, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all our frontline teams and ask that you join me in treating them with respect.

I’d also like to thank you for your role in keeping us all safe when you shop our stores. Whether via checking in with a QR code, social distancing or completing your shop as efficiently as you can. We have many ways to support this, head to our COVIDSafe page to find out more.

We will continue to update you on what we are doing to support our teams being vaccinated and other critical COVID-related actions as things evolve. 

Together we will get through this and back to enjoying the best of Australian life. 

Brad and the Woolworths Team

P.S. I thought I should add that I, along with many of our senior team, have now had my second AZ shot.



12 July 2021 (NSW only)

Dear NSW Customers,

With Greater Sydney now entering its third week of lockdown, and with the tightening of restrictions announced on Friday, I wanted to assure you that we are committed to keeping our customers, teams and communities safe and this is our top priority.

A few things by way of reminder as you plan your shopping:

  • Current NSW Government restrictions allow only one person per household per day to shop and that it is mandatory to check in via the NSW Government QR code, which is now available in multiple locations throughout our stores.

  • Our team members can help you check in if you need assistance, or do not have a smartphone, by providing a tablet with the NSW Government app to ensure your information is captured securely. We understand checking in is something new for all of us, so please treat our team with kindness and respect as they help everyone get used to it.

  • It’s worth also saying that we care about your privacy. All information captured by the Service NSW app is administered and stored by the Government. Woolworths does not have access or store any of this information.

  • In recent days, the NSW Government has also made it clear that shopping for essentials should be done as quickly as possible. Using the Woolworths App can help, as it allows you to make lists before you shop and even locate items by aisle. Planning ahead and shopping online for contactless Delivery, Direct to Boot or Pick up is also a good option.

  • Finally, it is important that you don’t come into a store if you feel unwell or have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID. All our New South Wales team members have also been asked to not come to work on the same basis.

Thank you again for your ongoing understanding and for showing kindness and respect to our team members and your fellow customers. We are all in this together - please check-in first so that we can check you out safely.

Be safe and take care.

Brad Banducci

CEO Woolworths Group



29 June 2021 (NT, NSW, QLD and WA)

Dear Customers,

I wanted to provide you with an update from Woolworths, given the current Lockdown across multiple locations in Australia including: 

  • Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour 

  • Greater Darwin, Palmerston, Litchfield Council areas, Wagait and Belyuen Shires

  • Perth and Peel areas in Western Australia,  

  • South East Queensland (Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Moreton Bay and Lockyer Valley regions)

  • Townsville, Magnetic Island and Palm Island regions. 

We know these are once again uncertain and anxious times for us all. Incredible as it might seem, it is now over 16 months since Australia had its first COVID case and keeping our customers, teams and communities safe remains our top priority.  

Supporting our team 

We remain deeply appreciative of our team members on the front line, whether in our stores, distribution centres, or out making deliveries. Please show kindness to our team as they continue to work to have essential items available for you. They are feeling the impact of these restrictions just as much as you are, and I don’t think I can emphasise the need for mutual respect strongly enough.  

Helping you shop COVIDSafe in our stores

  • Health & Safety Ambassadors are positioned at the entry of all affected Woolworths Supermarkets 9am and 7pm. These dedicated team members are here to help with QR code check-in, cleaning baskets and trolleys, and are also monitoring customer numbers as needed. 

  • When shopping in store, please wear a mask, sanitise your hands and practise social distancing.

  • It is a government requirement that you check in each time you visit our stores using the government app in your state to assist with contact tracing requirements. There are multiple locations throughout the store to check in. If there is a line up please be patient and maintain social distancing between yourselves and other shoppers.

  • A reminder to get tested and isolate if you have any COVID symptoms. Please refrain from coming into our stores if you feel unwell.

Product update

There is plenty of stock in our distribution centres and we’ve put more trucks on the road to bring extra stock into stores. Our team will be working hard to restock shelves as quickly as possible over the week.

Frustratingly, we currently have a 2-pack per shop limit on toilet paper in NSW and WA after we’ve seen surge buying leading to some shortages in store and online. It seems the almost primordial urge to pantry stock toilet paper is still symbolic of these times. We expect to be back in full stock in the next few days and as previously, we’d ask you to only buy what you need.

Shopping online

Our online shopping services are all open with good availability of ordering windows. A reminder that there are a number of ways you can shop online with confidence:

  • Woolworths Direct-to-Boot or Community Pick up, which allows you to pick up for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

  • Woolworths Priority Assistance for the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation. To register for Priority Assistance click here.

  • Contactless Home Deliveries for groceries delivered to your doorstep.

Notifying customers of positive cases in local stores 

We have had stores impacted over the last week, with cases of customers returning positive tests. We’ll continue to be as transparent as possible, including posting notices online and in-store when we learn of confirmed cases.

All impacted stores have had a deep clean since we were notified of these positive customer cases and have since re-opened. As per the Government advice, please check for details on testing if you have visited these stores on these dates.

We know the impact that COVID, including these latest restrictions, is having on our collective mental health. It is more important than ever to look out for ourselves and each other. Thank you again for your ongoing support, patience and understanding. 

Be safe and take care.

Brad Banducci

CEO Woolworths Group

 



1 June 2021 (VIC only)

Dear Victorian Customers,

With the current lockdown across the State and the ongoing reporting of new COVID cases, I thought it timely to provide you with an update from Woolworths.

We know these are once again uncertain and anxious times for all Victorians and I especially feel for those of you in Melbourne, who have now had more than 160 days in lockdown and many more days of various restrictions since the start of the pandemic.

Helping you shop COVIDSafe in store

  • Health & Safety Ambassadors are positioned at the entry of all Woolworths Supermarkets in Victoria. These dedicated team members are here to help with cleaning baskets and trolleys, and are also monitoring customer numbers as needed.

  • When shopping in store, please wear a mask if you can, sanitise your hands and continue to practice social distancing.

  • We encourage you to check in each time you visit our stores using the Victorian Government QR code to assist with contact tracing.

  • A reminder to isolate and get tested if you have any COVID symptoms. Please refrain from coming into store if you feel unwell.

Notifying customers of positive tests in local stores 

We have also had a number of stores impacted over the last week, with cases of customers returning positive tests. We’ll continue to be extremely transparent, including posting notices online and in-store when we learn of confirmed cases.

 All stores have had a deep clean since we were notified of these positive customer cases and have since re-opened. As per Victorian Government advice, please check here for details on testing if you have visited these stores on these dates.

Supporting our team

We remain deeply appreciative of our team members on the front line, whether in our stores, distribution centres, online delivery hubs or out making deliveries. Please show kindness to our team, they are feeling the impact of this lockdown just as much as you are. 

Product update

We have plenty of stock of most essential items, with more continuing to flow through from our distribution centres. Frustratingly, there is currently a 2-pack per shop limit on toilet paper after we’ve seen surge buying leading to some shortages in store and online. It seems the rush to buy toilet paper is still symbolic of these times. We expect to be back in full stock in the next few days and as always, we’d ask you to only buy what you need.

Shopping online

Our online shopping services are all open with good availability of ordering windows across Victoria. A reminder that there are a number of ways you can shop online with confidence:

  • Woolworths Direct-to-Boot or Community Pick up, which allows you to safely pick up for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

  • Woolworths Priority Assistance for the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation. To register for Priority Assistance click here.

  • Contactless home deliveries for groceries delivered to your doorstep.

Incredible as it might seem, it is now over 16 months since Australia had its first COVID case and keeping our customers, teams and communities safe remains our top priority.  

We know the impact that COVID, including this latest lockdown, is having on our collective mental health. It is more important than ever to look out for ourselves and each other, and as a business, we will continue to find ways to make sure we’re playing our part.

Thank you again for your ongoing support, patience and understanding.

Be safe,

Brad Banducci

CEO Woolworths Group



22 March 2021 (NSW only)

A message from our CEO to our NSW communities

In light of the current challenging weather conditions impacting NSW, I thought it appropriate to write to you directly with an update from Woolworths.

We understand how unsettling and stressful this time is for many NSW residents, especially in the context of the last 12 to 15 months, and want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to help keep both our customers and team safe. 

Store Opening Hours

At this stage, the Woolworths Taree Supermarket is operating with reduced hours and the Woolworths Kempsey Supermarket and BIG W Kempsey are currently closed until further notice. This is to support the safety of our team and customers as weather conditions continue to impact access to and from these stores. For your local Woolworths trading hours, click here, for BIG W click here, for Dan Murphy’s click here and for BWS click here.

Impact to stock availability in-store and shopping online

With weather conditions causing some delivery delays due to road blockages or extended travel times, you may notice your local store is experiencing partial out of stocks, and reduced online shopping window availability. I need to stress that we have plenty of stock and any out of stocks are purely delivery related.  We apologise and thank you for your patience as we continue to re-route deliveries from alternate locations and send trucks via safer routes due to dangerous road conditions in some parts of the State. For the latest updates and details of our online shopping options (including Delivery, Pick up and Direct to Boot), head here

Helping those who need it most

Our S.T.A.N.D program was specifically created to provide support to communities impacted by  Australian natural disasters. In partnership with you, our customers, we raised $5 million for our S.T.A.N.D Charity partners (The Salvation Army, Lifeline, Foodbank and Rural Aid) in 2020. These funds help these charities to act quickly in times of natural disaster.

For example, the Salvos are currently operating across several evacuation centres across the state with a key presence between Taree and Nambucca Heads on the Mid North Coast.  Utilising funds raised through the  S.T.A.N.D program, The Salvation Army have been able to support those evacuated from their homes, as well as emergency service crews and have provided more than 1,640 meals to those impacted since Friday afternoon. Lifeline has fielded thousands of calls for help across their crisis support lines including 13 HELP, a dedicated hotline for natural disaster support and counselling. 

If you’d like to help further support our S.T.A.N.D partners in the important work they do, you can donate at any Woolworths, BWS or BIG W store or through the Woolworths website. Click here for more information.

You can also donate your Everyday Rewards dollars* to any of our Woolworths charity partners, including S.T.A.N.D in the form of an eGift card. To send an eGift card to charity, simply login or register at Woolworths Gift Cards.

Looking after our team

We are deeply appreciative of our team members during this time, whether in our stores, distribution centres, online hubs or out making deliveries.

To support our teams we have partnered with Sonder who can issue emergency updates and alerts to team members with the app in impacted areas. They are also able to provide emergency assistance to team members needing help.

Some of our team have also been directly impacted, with their homes damaged or destroyed by the floods. Currently we know of 7 team members that have lost or had significant damage to their homes. We have financial assistance, counselling and physical support options available to all team members who have been impacted by flooding.

Thank you for your ongoing support, patience and understanding as we all work better together to help keep our communities safe.
Be safe,

Brad Banducci
CEO Woolworths Group  

*You‌ ‌can‌ ‌donate‌ ‌your‌ ‌balance‌ ‌in‌ ‌multiples‌ ‌of‌ ‌$10‌ ‌if‌ ‌your‌ ‌Rewards‌ ‌choice‌ ‌is‌ ‌Auto‌ ‌Savings‌ ‌or‌ ‌Bank‌ ‌for‌ ‌Christmas.



1 February 2021 (WA only)

A Western Australian COVID Update

Dear Customers,

Happy New Year. 

I thought it timely to write to you in light of yesterday’s Government announcement of the introduction of restrictions for Perth Metropolitan, Peel Region and the South West Region. We understand it may be an anxious time with the implementation of a five day lockdown, but please rest assured we are doing everything we can do to help us all be COVIDSafe. 

As parts of WA have moved into a temporary lockdown, Woolworths Supermarkets, BWS and Dan Murphy’s remain open, but as per WA Government advice, we ask that you limit your trips to our stores during lockdown to essential visits only.   We continue to work with the WA government, including reviewing additional trading hours for the lockdown period. At this stage, until Friday, our supermarkets will open at 7am. See here for Woolworths trading hours

Following the WA government’s advice, all BIG W stores in WA will temporarily close for the duration of the lockdown, however bigw.com.au remains open 24/7. When placing an online order, customers can choose contactless home delivery, with all Pick up orders held until stores reopen. Please visit www.bigw.com.au/covid-19 for all updates.

Looking after you in store

Given the heightened risk of community transmission across Perth, Peel and the South West regions, we have taken the following measures in our Woolworths stores:

  • In line with WA Government requirements, team members and customers must wear a mask when leaving home, which includes shopping in our stores (unless exempted by the WA Government).

  • Additional monitoring of social distancing is in place throughout our stores and around the checkouts.

  • Health & Safety Ambassadors will be in these stores to support with cleaning and wiping down trolleys. Please continue to use the hand sanitiser on entry and exit.

We have also been clear with our team members that if they feel unwell or are awaiting a test result, they should not come to work – and we have put special leave provisions in place to ensure our staff are supported in doing this. It is of course also important that you don’t come into a store if you feel unwell, should be in isolation, or are waiting for a COVID test result. 

Shopping with confidence online

Our online shopping services are all open as usual with good availability of ordering windows across WA. A reminder that we have a number of ways you can shop online with confidence:

  • Woolworths Direct to boot or Community Pick up, which allows you to pick up for yourself or on behalf of someone else.

  • Woolworths Priority Assistance for the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation. To register for Priority Assistance click here.

  • Contactless home deliveries for groceries delivered to your doorstep.

Product limits 

To ensure all our customers have access to essential products, we are implementing product limits on a number of key categories in our Woolworths and BIG W stores. See the below links for details.

Woolworths product limits

BIG W product limits

As always, we ask that when you shop in our stores or online that you continue to only buy what you need. We have plenty of stock on hand of all essential items and products will continue to flow through from our distribution centres.

Incredibly as it might seem, it is 12 months since we first heard of COVID and keeping our customers, teams and communities safe remains our top priority as we continue to improve our underlying COVIDSafe processes based on the various lockdowns we have gone through in the other states in Australia. 

Finally, I'd like to recognise the Pilbara region as they prepare for the incoming tropical low. Our store and distribution teams are working hard to ensure customers can get the essentials they need and we're looking at how else we can support the community.

Thank you again for your ongoing support, patience and understanding.

Stay Safe,

Brand Banducci

CEO Woolworths Group



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