27 March 2020

Looking after each other

Dear Customers,

We have collectively experienced another week of changes that are having a significant impact on how we all live.

Our team is working hard to keep our stores open, safe, clean and stocked with products. This of course includes our teams in our whole supply chain and support network.

Helping those who need it most

Now more than ever, I want to assure you that we remain focused on supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

We have reduced the trading hours at 41 stores across the country to 11am-6pm, so that we can use them as Priority Home Delivery Hubs.

In the extra hours these stores will be closed to the public, our team will pick online orders for Priority Assistance deliveries to the elderly, people with disability, those with a compromised immune system or people in mandatory isolation.

Our dedicated early morning shopping hours for the elderly and people with disability will also continue and we will look to refine and adjust it going forward.

To check store opening hours or register for Priority Assistance, visit woolworths.com.au/updates

Our partnership with Meals on Wheels has allowed us to supply over 75,000 packs of toilet paper to the elderly. And we’re also pleased to increase our commitment to our hunger relief partners OzHarvest, Foodbank and FareShare at a time when they are seeing a huge surge in demand for meals and basic essentials for those most in need.

Additional safety measures in stores

Safety starts with social distancing and hygiene, and in addition to the guidelines we announced last weekend, we are continuing to introduce some new measures to support the wellbeing of our customers and team. These include:

  • A team member at the front of each store to wipe down baskets and trolleys and to help customers with our social distancing practices, trading hours and product limits.
  • Some checkouts in the self-serve and express area will now be closed to allow additional space between customers.
  • The installation of plexiglass screens at our checkouts has begun and additional hygiene processes have been implemented.

We expect to roll-out further measures in the upcoming week, many of them a direct result of your feedback and suggestions.

Creating jobs

We realise these are uncertain times and know that Woolworths has an important role to play in keeping as many Australians employed as possible.

We are looking to hire up to 20,000 extra people across our business to help us meet the needs of customers in stores and expand home deliveries in the months ahead.

Our immediate focus will be the redeployment of team members from our ALH hotels business impacted by this week’s mandatory closures. Plus we’re working with many other businesses including Qantas, Village Roadshow, Cotton On and others to help find their employees roles. We are of course hopeful that these businesses will bounce back strongly once this crisis passes and in the meantime we all get the benefit of their teams’ collective experience.

We know there’s so much more we can all do, and if we continue to work together and look after each other, we will get through this stronger than ever.

With thanks and appreciation

CEO, Woolworths Group