Coles is dedicating two Community Hour shopping periods per week to emergency services and healthcare workers, who are essential to protecting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these workers are limited for time and would welcome the convenience of shopping before the store opens.
Starting this Thursday 26 March, the first hour of trade on Tuesdays and Thursdays will be for emergency services and healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, paramedics, hospital and ambulance staff, police, firefighters and emergency service workers who hold an AHPRA card, have a workplace ID or are wearing their work uniform.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday Coles Community Hours will continue to be dedicated to vulnerable and elderly customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card, Seniors Card, Disability Card and Health Care Card.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said the move will help even more Australians access the essential groceries they need.
“In the past week we have seen Community Hour help vulnerable and elderly Australians access essential grocery items during this challenging time. We are now extending this opportunity to those Australians who are protecting our community and keeping us safe,” Cain said.
“We know these workers are incredibly busy and hope that providing them with a dedicated hour at the beginning of the day to shop will make their lives a little easier and support the vital work they are doing every day”, he said.
Cain said “We are also incredibly proud of our team members in-store who are working hard to get stock on to shelves as fast as possible, create a safe place to shop, and provide our customers with great service. We ask that our customers continue to show them kindness and patience.”
Coles is open 7am to 8pm every day
Coles would like to assure the community that it is an essential service and its supermarkets, petrol stations and liquor stores will remain open every day across Australia as the COVID-19 outbreak continues. Coles’ distribution centres are also open and the team is working with suppliers and partners to get more stock to stores as fast as possible.
The first hour of trade on weekdays at Coles supermarkets is exclusively for Coles Community Hour. Supermarkets will also close no later than 8pm to give team members the time and space to extensively clean stores and replenish the shelves for customers the next day.
Health and safety in stores remains a priority
Coles has introduced a number of guidelines to help with social distancing in stores. Customers are advised to use the length of a trolley as a guide for the distance between themselves and other shoppers and asked to please sanitise their hands before entering stores. The use of tap and-go for payment is also encouraged.
Coles is spending an additional $1 million per week to extensively clean its stores and also increasing the number of security guards in supermarkets to keep customers and staff safe during this time of unprecedented demand.
Coles is in the early stages of rolling out its new Coles Online Priority Service and is looking to bring this service to as many vulnerable customers as possible.