Woolworths and Coles supermarkets announce drastic new policy
It will change the way we shop
By Alex Chapman
April 03 2020
Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are dramatically escalating their social distancing policies by introducing a limit on the number of customers inside stores.
From Monday until the foreseeable future, shoppers will be forced to wait in cordoned off queues outside until people inside leave.
The number of customers allowed inside varies depending on the size of the store itself.
Woolworths’ Managing Director Claire Peters said safety for both shoppers and staff was the top priority.
“Keeping our supermarkets safe for our teams and customers remains our top priority. Customers will start to notice stores implementing new social distancing measures in the lead up to the Easter weekend,” she said.
“Depending on how busy the store is, we may limit the number of people entering the store from time to time.
“Customer limits will be specific to each location and based on the size of the store. Our store managers will use common sense discretion to manage this in the interest of community safety.”
There will be signage outside stores, with a coned-off area instructing people where the queue.
The number of customers in-store will be managed using a one-in, one-out policy.
Coles, meanwhile, says team members will be at the front door to let customers know when it’s okay to enter.
“We want to ensure that all customers can follow social distancing guidelines when shopping in our stores,” CEO Steven Cain said.
“Over the coming week, we may be introducing new limits when the stores are busy on how many customers can be in a Coles store at any one time.
“We ask that you follow their instructions and any signs in-store so we can safely serve as many customers in the community as possible.”
It comes as supermarkets brace for an uptick in demand in the lead-up to Easter.
Peters acknowledged it would be a holiday period that “won’t be the same this year”.
“Traditionally, the Thursday in the lead up to Easter is one of our busiest times in-store,” she said.
“We ask our customers to pre-plan their Easter shopping to avoid the usual Thursday spike in numbers.”
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