17 April 2020
As we enter a kind of “new normal”, it’s incredible to see the changes to how we all live and shop. And in turn, we at Woolies are working hard to adapt our business to meet these changing needs.
Getting into the groove on Social Distancing and Hygiene
We are all getting better at managing social distancing, so thank you to everyone for keeping a trolley-length apart, and for your patience as and where we have to manage customer numbers in store.
The Woolworths App can really help here, by showing you where to find products in your local store, and by organising your shopping list by aisle. You can download it here and join 1.2m other active App users.
New customer hand sanitiser stations will be in the entrance of 95% of Woolworths Supermarkets by this Sunday, with the remainder coming next week.
And 200 stores will have new clear screens between self-service ‘assisted’ checkouts by early next week, with others to follow soon after. These are in addition to the well-received screens at our staffed checkouts.
We continue to work on additional ways to keep us all collectively safe, with more to come on those as we roll them out.
Getting better every day on product availability
We’ve been able to remove more product limits this week, including on canned vegetables, canned legumes, canned tomatoes, serviettes and most baby products (excluding wipes).
Another 1.5 million units of hand sanitiser will come in this week, plus another 500,000 packs of pasta. These are big quantities but with demand still high, supply will remain patchy in parts.
It wouldn’t be an update without mentioning toilet paper. Supply isn’t back to normal yet, BUT it continues to improve as demand tapers, with ‘only’ 11.5 million rolls sold this week (versus 15m last week and 20m the week before) and lots more coming.
The changing habits of a nation at home ‘24/7’
Australians are shopping less often, but buying more when they do. We are shopping more locally, more in the mornings and less on Saturdays and Sundays.
The use of the Woolworths App is up 320%, driven by viewing our digital catalogue, planning a physical shop and online shopping itself. Traffic to our website has more than doubled, especially by those looking for recipe inspiration. And in April so far, cash payments in store are down 35% as we increasingly tap-and-go.
Product demand for breakfast, baking, cleaning and looking after ourselves are all trending materially up. With that in mind, it’s worth checking out this week’s digital catalogue on our website or App, with great specials on many of these categories.
Meeting the needs of online shoppers
Waiting times for Priority Assistance home deliveries are down dramatically. Phone wait times are down to 30 seconds from 27 minutes two weeks ago, with approval typically within the hour once the form is submitted.
We have significantly more windows available for Home Delivery, but demand remains high, especially as we prioritise our most vulnerable customers. Please check our website as we’re adding more windows every day.
Community Pick up is off to a terrific start with around 30,000 orders this week, allowing someone in the community to pick up an order on behalf of someone else.
We’ve partnered with PFD Food Services to better support essential services like day care centres, schools, disability services and nursing homes with home delivery. These critical businesses can now place bulk orders for delivery from the PFD range through woolworths.com.au.
The Woolworths Basics Box is now available for anyone to order for themselves or as a gift. This week, we also made 5,000 boxes available to Indigenous communities in the NT and NSW.
Finally, our partnerships with OzHarvest, Fareshare and Foodbank are building further momentum, as we work together to provide food for the increasing number of Australians who need it most.
As we collectively confront the “new normal”, I am continually reminded that we are all in this together, and that it is only by being better together that we can succeed.
CEO, Woolworths Group