Australia’s supermarket giants are returning to normal trading hours and stock availability, following the dramatic surge in panic buying in March.
Matt Swindells, Coles CEO said Coles Community Hour had been very popular with eligible shoppers, but now that demand for groceries and product availability were returning to more normal levels it was time to welcome all customers back whenever stores were open.
“With supply almost back to normal for essential groceries, Coles is reopening this hour to all customers again as well as opening earlier where we can, to make shopping more convenient for everyone in the community,” he said.
From this Friday, May 8, Coles will expand its trading hours for customers, opening almost 200 stores earlier at 6am.
For the past seven weeks, the first hour of trade from 7am to 8am on weekdays has been dedicated to Coles Community Hour, so elderly and vulnerable customers as well as emergency services and healthcare workers could have access to essential food and groceries.
“The reason we started Coles Community Hour was because excess demand led to limited availability, which meant we had lots of people eager to get into stores early in the morning,” Matt said.
“Having a dedicated shopping hour for some of the most vulnerable members of the community, as well as those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, was really beneficial.”
Coles has also reopened Coles Online orders to all shoppers.
“We’ve doubled our capacity in Coles Online so there is now more opportunity than ever for customers to either have their groceries delivered to their homes or collect them at their convenience,” Matt said.
Woolworths has eased limits on a number of products, including toilet paper, rice, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.