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Woolworths reduces trading hours to support vulnerable customers amid coronavirus outbreak

by Paul
trading

The change will come into effect tomorrow where the 41 “priority delivery hubs” will use the additional hours to fulfil online orders

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths will reduce trading hours at 41 stores across the country to 11am to 6pm, to support prioritising the delivery of groceries to the homes of vulnerable customers.

The change will come into effect tomorrow where the 41 “priority delivery hubs” will use the additional hours the stores are not open to fulfil online orders.

The new measure will focus on meeting the increased demand from “priority assistance” customers, who include the elderly, people with disability, those with compromised immunity and people in mandatory isolation.

The company operates more than 1000 Woolworths-branded supermarkets and Metro food stores nationwide.

In addition to the priority delivery hubs, Woolworths is supporting those vulnerable in the community by operating dedicated early shopping hours during the week for the elderly and those with a disability.

It has also delivered more than 75,000 packs of toilet rolls to date to Meals on Wheels for distribution to elderly in the community via their network of volunteers.

In a statement, Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said: At Woolworths we are focused on supporting the most vulnerable in the community during these challenging times.

Mr Banducci explained that to help support getting basic food and essentials to those that need it most, their teams have been doing “everything they can to scale up online and home deliveries to the elderly, people with disabilities or those in mandatory self-isolation”.

It is to support prioritising the delivery of groceries to the homes of vulnerable customers.

He said following an extraordinary level of demand for groceries in recent weeks, reducing trading hours in a small number of stores to turn them into ‘Priority Delivery Hubs’ will help assist more people who can’t access a store to get products they need.

At a time when hunger relief charities are seeing a surge in demand for providing meals and basic essentials, we’re also pleased to increase our commitment to our partners OzHarvest, Foodbank and FareShare, Mr Banducci said.

We hope our additional long term support will help them with any gaps they are facing as they continue to help those most in need in the community, he said.

Woolworths has continued to step up its social distancing measures in stores by adding plastic screens at its supermarket check-outs.

On Monday, the store confirmed it would be rolling out the screens at all of its supermarkets over the coming weeks as the Federal Government takes steps to enforce social distancing measures.

The screens are already installed in Sydney’s Town Hall and Kellyville North stores, creating a physical barrier between staff operating check-outs and customers.

It comes after Woolworths on Friday introduced strict social distancing measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Customers have been asked to wash or sanitise their hands before shopping and maintain an appropriate distance from other people, using their trolleys as guide.

When lining up at check-outs, customers must follow floor markings on where to stand in order to stand apart from other shoppers.

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