Supermarkets reopen online shopping to all customers

Coles and Woolworths have reopened online shopping to all customers after doubling their online capacity to meet increasing demand spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Both supermarkets have rebooted their home delivery and click & collect services, though buying limits still apply. Coles said in-store limits on popular products will apply to all online orders, and Woolies has capped online orders at 40 items.

Woolworths has established a new pop-up delivery hub in Melbourne and partnered with last-mile couriers Sherpa and Drive Yello to have increased delivery services operating starting this week. The supermarket said its staff will hand pick online orders for customers for next day delivery.

Woolworths Managing Director Amanda Bardwell said: “We’re seeing a big increase in demand for home delivery as more and more customers seek to limit their outings in the community.”

“We’ve worked hard behind the scenes to find innovative ways to provide this much-needed additional delivery capacity across Australia. We now have a highly flexible and scalable way to meet the needs of many more of our online customers in the weeks and months ahead.

“In an effort to fulfil your order as best we can, if an item is unavailable, wherever possible we will select a substitute within the same product category.”

Last month, major supermarkets made the decision to reserve their online services for seniors, disadvantaged groups and Australians living remotely, due to the coronavirus outbreak, by launching Coles Online Priority Service (COPS) and Woolworths Priority Assistance.

Community hour for the elderly, people with a disability and healthcare workers remains in place at both Coles and Woolies.

This week, ALDI also announced an ease on buying restrictions and a return to normal trading hours, from 8.30am-7pm or 8.30am-8pm, unless state and local trading restrictions apply.

Supermarket rules during the COVID-19 outbreak

Supermarkets are still enforcing strict hygiene and self-distancing measures in their stores. Customers are encouraged to shop alone when possible and to keep a safe distance in stores of 1.5 metres from others (or the length of a trolley) at all times.

Under new hygiene measures, shoppers are now provided with cleaning wipes for baskets and trolleys and will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering stores.

Picture credits: ArliftAtoz2205 /

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