4 August 2020
A message from our CEO to all Victorians
COVID-19 Update - Lockdown Restrictions
We know these are uncertain and anxious times for all Victorians. On the back of the new restrictions within the state, I was keen to write to you with an update from Woolworths so you can hear first hand what we are doing to help Victorian communities during the lockdown.
Store opening and shopping hours
In line with the updated restrictions, all Woolworths Supermarkets and Metro Food Stores in metropolitan Melbourne will close to customers entering at 7.30pm each day, with customers expected to have finished their shop by 7.45pm. Trading hours for Woolworths stores outside Melbourne aren’t affected. The same applies to BWS and Dan Murphy’s stores in Victoria.
All BIG W stores in metropolitan Melbourne will unfortunately need to close to customers at the end of trade this Wednesday. We will continue to offer contactless Pick up from those stores as well as Contactless Home Delivery, and we’re currently working through how this will operate. There are 9 BIG W stores in regional Victoria under Stage 3 restrictions which will remain open for customers from 9am-6pm. We’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact on our BIG W team members, including temporary opportunities to support other businesses in the Woolworths Group where possible.
Product Limits and Stock
In Woolworths, some buying limits are in place across Victoria to once again help make sure everyone has fair access to fresh food and essential products. The details are subject to change, so it’s best to check the latest on our website here.
There are also new Victorian Government restrictions proposed on the meat industry and our supply chain (including our logistics partners) effective Friday night this week. We are engaging with the Government as I write to seek further clarification on these changes and are in parallel, working with our suppliers and doing all we can to minimise any disruption to the supply of meat and other products in our stores and online. We will keep you updated as best we can and in the meantime, we’d ask you again to shop as you normally would and only buy what you need.
Planning your shop
It’s more important than ever that we all do our best to maintain social distancing in store. To help you better plan when to shop, we’d like to remind you of Q-Tracker, which allows you to see how busy a store is almost in real-time (it’s updated every 5 minutes), and when the busiest times normally are. There are also more than 40 stores across Melbourne where you can ‘book your shop’, confirming your spot ahead of time so you won't have to wait to enter.
Tens of thousands of customers have already made use of Q-Tracker to plan their shop, while hundreds have made a booking at our initial trial stores. You can check it out here.
Health and Safety
Health and safety remains our #1 priority for all of our customers and teams. We are trialling a contact tracing App in a number of Melbourne stores this week, with plans to roll-out across our network next week. You may see posters with a QR code as you enter (similar to what’s in cafes and restaurants). Where you do see these, we’d encourage you to check in to help with COVID-19 tracing. We’ll only share this information with the health authorities for contact tracing, and to let you know if you may be impacted by a confirmed case in a store.
Health & Safety Ambassadors are also positioned at the entry of all Woolworths Supermarkets in all Victorian stores. These dedicated team members are assisting customers at the sanitiser station, cleaning baskets and trolleys and helping with social distancing.
As more of you choose to shop online for Delivery or Pick up, we have brought on more delivery trucks and on-demand delivery drivers to meet the increased demand. We’re taking further steps this week to help support the delivery of even more online orders to Victorians.
We’re temporarily turning 3 of our Supermarkets into online delivery hubs so they can be used to serve the extra online orders we’re expecting. That means, from this evening Woolworths Dandenong Plaza, Watergardens South and Mountain Gate are closing to the public.
We understand this will be inconvenient if you’re a regular customer in one of these stores, and our apologies for this. We’ve tried to minimise disruption by choosing stores with other supermarkets nearby so you can still shop in a way that meets the Government's restricted movement policy.
A reminder that we have a number of ways we can help you shop online with confidence:
• Community Pick up, which allows you to pick up for yourself or on behalf of someone else
• Priority Assistance for the elderly, people with disability and those in mandatory isolation
• Contactless deliveries with groceries delivered to your doorstep
Supporting the more vulnerable
As we enter this new stage of restrictions, finding ways to support the most vulnerable in our community is at the forefront of our thinking. That’s why we’ve created a Woolworths Kindness Card - it has $50 Woolworths credit loaded and we’ll be giving these to defence forces and charity organisations to hand out to communities in need so that they can access everyday essentials. The credit can be redeemed online for specific products which means vulnerable community members can order pantry staples and fresh produce without having to leave their home.
These are challenging times in Victoria, and as a father with two daughters currently studying and working in Melbourne, I feel it personally. In addition, one of my daughters (working in health care), has also just tested positive for COVID making it even more real for us as a family. Rest assured of Woolworths’ commitment to do whatever we can to support all of the Victorian communities we are part of.
CEO, Woolworths Group
For the latest updates and details of our online shopping options (including Delivery, Pick up, Priority Assistance and Community Pick up), see our website here.