Amongst all the social anxiety and media hysteria, it has been hard to find reliable facts and helpful advice surrounding coronavirus over recent weeks.
However, one fact that has been made clear is that the elderly, as well as people with disabilities, are most vulnerable to the potentially life-threatening virus. In response to this, Woolworths has just announced that they are introducing a dedicated shopping hour for the elderly and for people with a disability.
Woolworths Supermarkets will be opening exclusively for the elderly, and those with a disability to shop from 7 am to 8 am.
The decision by Woolworths has been prompted by the newfound and overwhelming demand in supermarkets over the past few weeks, which has seen many elderly and vulnerable people in the community missing out on vital items that they need, such as toilet paper and staple kitchen items.
Woolworths Supermarkets will open as usual to all customers from 8am, with access to the store before this time requiring a relevant Government issued concession card. These revised provisions will be in place at this stage until this Friday (20th March), with Woolworths set to review the success of these opening arrangements and make any necessary changes.
In regards to the new provisions, Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Claire Peters said:
“While we’ll continue to do our very best to restock our stores during this period of unprecedented demand, we know many of our elderly customers have been missing out on essential items when they shop. This temporary measure will give them, and those with a disability, the opportunity to shop before our stores officially open – helping them obtain the essential items they need most in a less crowded environment. We continue to encourage all Australians to be mindful of those in our communities who might need extra help at this time. Now – more than ever – we need to be kind to each other, especially to those most vulnerable. We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused by the revised opening hours.”
It appears that other supermarkets, such as independent IGA stores are beginning to follow suit, however competing supermarket heavyweight Coles, is yet to make a change.