Have You Noticed You Are Spending More Times at The Supermarket?

Coles and Woolworths have already and will start to Introduce customer limits in each of their store for safety reason. Some stores has started already and some will start from Monday according to the emailed I received from Woolworths CEO.

Also the trading hours have been reduced again, it will now open from 9am to 6pm daily. As they are looking to ramp up home delivery ASAP. In a way, I feel they are taking advantage of the situation.

You are still restricted to how much you can buy for specific items, now with restricted numbers of customers and shorter hours of operation. Which will only means more panic for the customers.
Hope I am wrong in thinking this way.

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/woolworths-t...

Comments

  • +27 votes

    I used to very much be a shop once a day person. In and out in 5 mins with everything I wanted that day.

    I’ve just gone 10 days since my last shop and I managed to survive with everything I could buy (that is, in stock and abiding by limits).

    I spent a bit more time in store than normal (as I stocked up for the next 7-10 days), but I am going less often and so I would overall be spending less time in a store.

    • +8 votes

      This.. we have weekly plan with which items to buy. Go in buy and gtfo.

      Ironically this is so much better than when the wife goes in, does a pass of the entire floor and then buys after the 2nd pass.

    • +1 vote

      10 days is a long time. Most i could do is 5 days and i need to go out to buy fresh veggies.
      Most meals we have i make from scratch
      are you eating more processed food to take it to 10 days? id prefer to stay away as much as possible from the shops if i could too

      •  

        Every 5 is better than every day though, so you’re doing well.

        Nah I'm cooking a lot. I was making a mix of meals early on but I bought a stack of veggies and made two big veggie packed meals (curry and soup) about day 5/6 just before the veggies started going gross, and those meals lasted the next five days. Curry went first because it also had meat (froze some too) but the soup was vego so was perfectly fine.

        •  

          my stuff is the last fridge i bought i went for a bigger fridge cause we dont use the freezer much so got a top down fridge instead. Made some frozen prep meals but couldnt do too many
          and yeah fresh veg goes off in around 3 to 5 days depending on what you get but some stuff like carrots, potatoes, pumpkins do last longer but cant think of any greens that would last longer than 5

    • +2 votes

      I've gone 2 weeks now and will make it a few more days. However I'm down to eating cans of fruit and my frozen leftovers… doing to have to crack at some stage and do a big shop. Dreading having to queue, would prefer to go late at night when its quiet.

  • +6 votes

    Just read the article.. they said they limited Richmond NSW to eight customers at once..

    If so, thats going to cause a big queue.

    • +8 votes

      I'm surprised no supermarkets that require queuing have marked out the required distances with anti-slip tape either outside or inside their stores. I haven't bothered with those stores as the people waiting in line are not engaging in social distancing. Even then I'm not going to line up among such a large group.

      • +1 vote

        The Woolworths, I was in Friday, had big green circles showing the distances for social isolation when queuing. They also had clear plastic splash screens for their checkout operators who, also, had gloves on.

  • +2 votes

    It’s store dependant. On Thursday morning I went to Winston Hills BigW, hoping to get some of the low quantity Palmolive 3x1L hand wash liquid. As I can only find $10 for 500ml at my local store. There was a queue of 25-30 meters. All waiting to get in to [email protected]:30 am.

    Of course there was no hand wash at BigW, the shelf was stripped clean.
    Wasted my time going there.

    •  

      Ouch, not good at all.

    • +23 votes

      I don't understand this panic buying/hoarding of liquid hand wash. Plain old soap (or even Dove cream bar) works just as well to kill viruses including COVID-19 and is still available at lots of places including Chemist Warehouse, and for much cheaper prices than the liquid stuff.

      • +5 votes

        Exactly this - are you people dying or not? Pls decide.

        People are in a panic, but not to th extent that they'll do anything unfashionable, like use a bar of soap.

      • -1 vote

        Well people cbf drying the soap bar after each wash to prevent mould and bacterial growth.

        • +8 votes

          As someone who grew up with bar soap, there's really no need to dry. Ppl are just dumb and of course lazy. There's no real crisis which is obvious from what's still left (unloved) on the shelves.

        • +12 votes

          I have never, in my entire life, seen mould and bacteria growing on a bar of soap and I know that no-one in my various households ever dries them after use. Is that actually a thing?

          • +1 vote

            @callum9999: Well yeah..I do work in a food lab and we test swabs of surface areas and yes there is mould and bacteria that grows to sometimes dangerous levels where there is moisture. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there just like people with weatherboard homes getting mould poisoning over time

            • +1 vote

              @Milk tea: Mould and bacteria generally want carbohydrates or proteins.
              I'm not sure if you've done a test on a soap bar lately, but they're generally pretty lacking in both of these compared to the pH level.
              So they're not particularly friendly places for mould or bacteria to setup shop.

              Obviously soap with fruit chunks in it might indeed get mould/bacteria in the chunks of fruit.
              Some bacteria may live in the soap scum, where it's got a more tolerable pH, and enough protein. But if you're lathering and rinsing with the bar of soap that should solve that problem.

              •  

                @bweiss: Dead skin cell count as protein? Genuine question

                • +1 vote

                  @spc12go: Sure, dead skin cells count as protein, and some carbohydrates, and lipids (fat).
                  The overall pH of the 'soup' however will still be largely alkaline (pH 8-10), which isn't a friendly environment for bacteria which predominantly require a pH < 7.
                  If you're ending up with large amounts of dead skin cells on your soap, then you may want to reconsider how you're using it ;)

            •  

              @Milk tea: Howe many of those surface areas are covered in soap?

    • +2 votes

      Yeah I go to the same Woolies, went at about 1.30pm and the queue is out front of the registers so everyone leaving has to walk through the line of people waiting to get in which sort of defeats the purpose. The line did move quickly for me and it's probably the first time I've ever walked up to a free register but I'm not sure how much it actually helps. You still get people standing in the middle of the aisle staring at the shelf with no way to get past them while maintaining the 1.5m distance.

    •  

      I was there on Thursday too, around lunch. Queue of about 5 outside.. was quick to get in. Got in and got out.

      We're definitely spending more at the supermarkets as we've reduced take away/delivery to an absolute 0

  • +20 votes

    No need to reduce shopping hours except as a way to save money and make a bigger profit.

    If any thing it makes the shops busier at any one time which is worse.

    •  

      If there is no stock on the shelves to sell then why stay open?

    • +11 votes

      I also think it’s profit driven. Reduce hours, reduce staff cost.
      Delivery charge is now $15. With reduced purchase, increase in delivery change. They are effectively making a handsome amount of money on delivery after you take away driver cost, fuel and truck cost.
      Call me paranoid.

      • +1 vote

        As someone who has spent several years in retail, I applaud the stores for reducing their opening hours.

        Retail staff are treated very poorly, they don't have the time to do their job properly in normal circumstances.

        For once they put their staff before the "needs" of customers. Shorter opening hours reduces profits in most scenarios, especially where there is a lot of competition.

        •  

          Shorter opening hours reduces profits in most scenarios, especially where there is a lot of competition.

          that’d be true for discretionary spending. Except, nobody strolls anymore. Motivation’s clear - profit, and perhaps, liability.
          I foresee large queues congregating - opposite of what’s advised.
          If it was about health, they’d require rag mask or at least offer sanitizer on entry.

          •  

            @AlexF: There absolutely is a huge amount of discretionary spending. I highly doubt you're only buying the absolute minimum you need to survive?

            •  

              @callum9999: If I only bought what I needed to survive, I’d be lining up in supermarket every day. Every moment I’m outside home, I’m risking infection, so, we’re planning ahead and in and out faster than ever before. No promenading.

          •  

            @AlexF:

            or at least offer sanitizer on entry

            I've seen this at Woolies already.

    • +10 votes

      The concept is to allow the people to restock and clean the stores whilst not getting in the middle of the general public. Usually at least some restocking is done when customers are in the store, what we don’t need is crowding aisles whilst restocking occurs. The stores are, also, being cleaned to a higher degree than they normally are. The best idea is to avoid peak times to shop or go to quieter stores.

      I don’t tend to shop at Aldi but, given the way their checkouts were normally laid out, I would be interested to know what they are doing? They usually only have a few checkout registers per store and everyone was crowded around making exiting, if you weren’t buying anything, difficult.

      • +1 vote

        Exactly. It gives staff the time and space to restock without customers hassling or crowding. It’s actually making the environment safer for staff.

        The best idea is to avoid peak times to shop or go to quieter stores.

        Does anyone know what “peak” shopping times are now?

        • +3 votes

          Avoiding Friday lunch time, is a good start. The Woollies at South Melbourne was a zoo. Apart from that most places have been OK for us. Costco, at Docklands, has been pretty quiet lately.

        •  

          It was fine mostly last week. You can bet now all day is peak time. Due to customer limit in the store and reduced trading hours.

          If you add those two together, what do you get? Big queue outside of supermarket, that will then create the anxiety among people as they see the queue and wonders what’s going on.

          Should they also line up as everyone else is lining up, so something much better happening and they don’t know.

          Some may not be able to get in as they have other things to go and give up lining up after a while. And decides to come back later on. And the cycle begins.

          • +1 vote

            @spc12go:

            Some may not be able to get in as they have other things to go and give up lining up after a while

            Well this is just not true. What else could anyone actually have to do?

            I’d be more than happy to line up if it meant stores weren’t crowded.

            •  

              @jjjaar: Wait till next week when it’s implemented nation wide and across all the supermarkets. Some people shop during their lunch time not everyone shop before and after work.

              Enjoy lining up outside or in an shopping centre with 50-60 peoples. Potentially more on Saturday and Sunday morning.

              • -1 vote

                @spc12go: Firstly, I legitimately have loads of time to line up. And yes, I’m working full time from home. I don’t know why you’re so concerned about how much time this will take. I literally have nothing besides work that I need to do. What could you possibly be doing that you can’t wait 5-10 mins to shop?

                And secondly, pictures I’ve seen from independent stores in Aus and giant supermarkets in the UK have had people line up in their own car parking space so that they can maintain the correct distancing. I would thoroughly enjoy that to being far too close to others when in store.

                •  

                  @jjjaar: The image I can think of are those lining up for Aldi special.
                  And the mad rush a few weeks ago trying to hoard I tissue. I wouldn’t like to see such a big group of people.

                  And now they say we have silent carrier where people with no symptoms but carried the disease. Hence I don’t think lining up is a good idea in an enclosed area.

                  The less time we spend in a crowed area the safer it is.

            •  

              @jjjaar: I can appreciate the need to limit the number of people inside stores so as to allow for better enforcement of physical distancing however this issue will just get shifted to the waiting queue of customers outside the stores.

              Shopping centres do not have adequate space to manage queues in front of stores at the best of times, ie. food courts.

              I understood that these measures are being introduced in the lead up to Easter as the supermarkets are forecasting more people purchasing more items than usual however I don't think they've thought it through properly.

              It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming weeks.

              •  

                @kajke:

                this issue will just get shifted to the waiting queue of customers outside the stores.

                As I said, photos I have seen locally and internationally of queues have always involved strict spacing between waiting people. If it’s not done properly I just won’t shop there. I have plenty of independents near me apparently doing this, and you probably do too.

        • +3 votes

          I find it pretty quiet after 5pm on weekdsys. Then again the shelves of certain essentials are empty. So a good time to buy stuff that don't have a demand issues.

          People are rather rushing home after work, rather than going to the store.

  • +12 votes

    The supermarkets are loving this, that's why we still can't buy toilet paper 6 weeks after they first sold out, it gets people to come in to shop more often.

    •  

      I had my choice of three different brands of TP both today and last Saturday - Sorbent, Kleenex and Quilton. The panic seems to have abated, at least where I live.

      • +3 votes

        Kleenex implemented a great idea - half the pack, double the price. Got to love profit motive.

        •  

          Not just Kleenex, pretty much most items in demand now only comes in small size. Frozen peas I don’t see 1kg, I only see 500g and 250g.

          Things that used to comes in variety of sizes now comes in smaller “right” size portion and limited. So in a nut shell I now have to do much more smaller runs to the supermarket. Buy I need and get out. Spending more trips and less time. However overall it’s more time wadded.

          •  

            @spc12go: I get the need to reduce hoarding, hence, limit pack quantity at checkout, but why price increase? Opportune corporate greed.

        • +2 votes

          Yeah, across many products. Also seems to be a chance for brands to move less popular lines.
          I noticed tasty cheese slices dropped from 24 @ $9 to 12 @ $6. Had heaps of stock though.

  • +3 votes

    Yes I believe shops, particularly seems to be Woolies, are taking advantage of the situation. Reducing hours so they can focus on the "needy" in our community, which possibly just increases the amount of people in their shops per hour, which doesn't make sense to me. I noticed Coles have increased their hours, by staying open even later, until 10pm, unless that's changed, I can't keep up. I usually shop at Aldi so unsure how these changes are working either way.

    • +2 votes

      As of last week my local Coles were open til 10pm (before that they reduced their hours to shut at 8pm)

      •  

        I noticed that Woolies seems to have updated their opening hours too, my local ones will now be open till 10 pm (was previously restricted to 8 pm during the panic buying weeks) Monday to Thursday evenings.

  • +4 votes

    The 9 am to 6 pm was only for delivery hub stores for this week, every other store was open 8 am to 8 pm.
    In NSW next week, all stores are open 8 am to 10 pm Mon - Thur, and are open everyday over the Easter weekend.

  •  

    Where did it say about ramping up home delivery ASAP?

    • +6 votes

      In an email that I “relived” from the Woollie’s CEO

      https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/discover/ceo-update

      When will online Delivery and Pick up come back?
      And when will you clear the long wait for Priority Assistance?

      We are making good progress reactivating home delivery, area by area. We’re hoping to have all areas operational immediately after Easter.

      The number of Priority Delivery Hubs will go from 50 to over 200 by the end of this weekend. Some of these stores have reduced opening hours to allow us to provide thousands of extra delivery windows a week.

      From Monday, Priority Assistance Partner Pick Up will start to be available, allowing customers to place an order online for someone to pick up on their behalf. That will be in more than 100 stores for drive-thru and 600 stores at the service desk.

  •  

    where does it say they are reducing hours?

    btw, 8 people is a great title, but there are certain stores that are tiny. Artarmon Coles Express would be an example where to store is tiny

  • -1 vote

    They will make less money, I bought my dinner elsewhere, whereas I would have spent it there

    •  

      Exactly. Stores don't reduce opening hours to make more money. Their staff costs go down but all their other costs don't. They lose hours of trade and customers.

  • +3 votes

    All these new measures making people spend longer in the war zone shows how intelligent the hoarders were .

    •  

      Unfortunately, true. Reflection of lack of foresight and planning on the run by people in positions of responsibility. If anyone imagines current predicament is surprise is dead wrong - even Bill Gates in 2015 TED Talk predicted this. Still think leader and CEO extraordinary pay is commensurate with expertise?

  • +1 vote

    They are doing everything they can to maximise profits, both Coles and Woolworths are disgraceful organisations

  • +1 vote

    Yeah I went to five super markets and still haven't got what I needed….

  • +2 votes

    I haven't been to the supermarket for a couple of weeks as we normally do a big shop every few weeks, however we were out of fresh stuff and toilet paper, so ventured out today .

    I got to Aldi just before opening, and there was a small queue outside. The doors opened and they all rushed to special buys to get one of the bicycles on special this week. Aldi to me was stocked completely as normal pre-corona, not many people and I was able to get whatever I needed (incl meat. pasta etc)….except, not a single roll of toilet paper, nada, zilch.

    I then wandered next door to the fruit and veg shop and was amazed as how cheap most things were, so bought lot of fresh produce.

    I then drove down the road to Coles and headed straight to toilet paper, and much to my amazement the shelves were well stocked, lots of 20 pack and 30 packs (but only 1 per customer), and no-one taking any. I grabbed a 30 pack. The store was pretty quiet

    For curiosity sake I then ventured across the road to Woolworths, also pretty quiet and there was a very small amount of toilet paper, but biggest pack was an 8 pack (1 per customer).

    SO overall I was really surprised

  •  

    According to Coles delivery options, it's free delivery if you opt for a 6 hour window (not hard if you or others are house bound) and spend over $150 (not hard if you're a hoarder, feeding a family, collectively buy with housemate, etc). You may have to change your shopping habits slightly but it's not a big deal.

    I think it's unlikely they have less staff as they would have upped resources in delivery and restocking areas.

    I'm actually surprised the stores haven't done more to profit, I was expecting there to be pallets of goods in demand (pallets of toilet paper, pasta, rice, etc). My local Coles has given up on toilet paper, they have filled the section with baby nappies and baby wipes. I usually can only find half my shopping list items and have to shop around to get what I want so I'm spending less per week at a particular store than what I normally would.

    •  

      spend over $150 (not hard if you're a hoarder

      limits apply when you shop online, so being a hoarder is not gonna help much

  • +1 vote

    I my case I certainly go in more often now because I normally consume a fair bit of mince and frozen veggies throughout the week. I just want this hoarding stupidity to end so I can just shop once a week.

    Have started seeing various locations heavily discounting milk and mince likely because they over ordered and the panic is subsiding.

    By further reducing shopping hours and people per store this will artificially drive up panic buying once again and result in increased profits to Woolies.

  •  

    It's been mostly fine where I've been shopping. Spudshed Morely, WA at 3am has been near empty. But I went to Woolies at Belmont Forum on Thursday around 1pm and it was quite busy, they have signs saying they're limiting numbers but the limit seems to be quite high and no-one tried limiting me.

    I think Perth isn't nearly as bad as, say, Sydney though. Our new cases number looks like it might be on a downtrend if you take out the new ones from a docked cruise ship.

  • +1 vote

    Yes unfortunately spending more time at the supermarket as I am unable to find necessary items. I find going there is a real drainer and would prefer delivery but it is not an option.

    Just wish the supermarkets would stop with the high prices and bring back the specials with appropriate limits.

    I didn't need toilet paper but there were piles of it in stock in Woolworths this morning and it was not being purchased by shoppers.

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