20 March 2020
These are undoubtedly testing times for all Australians, given the impact COVID-19 is having on the way we live. And if you believe the experts, we still have a long way to go.
At Woolworths, we accept that this is no longer business as usual. In the last four weeks, we have seen a huge surge in demand, which inevitably means you’re seeing material product shortages on our shelves.
Like all Australian grocery retailers, our aim is to provide the food and essential products all our customers need. This absolutely remains our focus, but we need your help.
In the spirit of fairness for all Australians, especially those who need our help the most, we have made some changes. These include:
We ask you to please respect these limits and only buy what you need. If we all do this, there is more than enough to go around.
For the latest details on limits, please visit woolworths.com.au/stockupdates
We have also introduced Priority Assistance home deliveries to help the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation. To apply for Priority Assistance delivery, please complete the form at woolworths.com.au/priorityassistance.
This week, we introduced a Dedicated hour for the elderly and people with disability to shop between 7am and 8am before we open to everyone. It was a “rocky” start, but it is getting better. And because we want to do whatever we can to help those most in need, we’ve decided to extend it for at least another week.
To help our stores cope with the huge increase in demand, we have had to suspend Pick up in all stores, and have paused home deliveries in many areas. However, we know that home delivery will only become more important, so we are working hard to ramp this up as much as we can.
The health and wellbeing of our customers and team will always be our top priority. With that in mind, we have made some changes intended to protect everyone. These include:
We have introduced some sensible guidelines for social distancing in store. These include using the size of your trolley as a distance guide between you and other shoppers, following markers on the floor at the checkouts and using tap-and-pay whenever you can. We’d also ask that you wash or sanitise your hands before you come into a store.
We have moved to a contactless delivery service with all orders delivered to your front door only. All orders will be placed in reusable bags and we’ve also suspended our crate to bench service.
As an extra precaution, we have significantly increased cleaning across all our stores with many stores doubling their cleaning time from 5 to 10 hours every day. We’ve also upgraded to hospital-grade disinfectant and are focusing on regular cleaning of counters and other surfaces. And as well as thorough hand washing, you’ll start to see many of our team - including checkout operators - wearing protective gloves.
Our teams are working incredibly hard to support the communities we are proud to serve. We ask that you continue to treat them, and each other, with the respect and kindness everyone deserves.
Finally, a heartfelt thank you for your continued patience, support and compassion. We can only do this if we work together and look out for each other. If we do this, I have no doubt we will collectively overcome this once-in-a-generation challenge.
CEO Woolworths Group
To find out more, please visit woolworths.com.au/updates