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Changes Coming To Woolworths From Next Week

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has released his final update after the supermarket introduced several changes due to the coronavirus.

In an email sent to customers on Friday morning, Banducci announced that Woolworths would be rolling back a number of changes introduced to support the community as Australia went into self isolation in mid-March.

From Monday, the Woolworths Community Hour, introduced to help the elderly, disabled and frontline emergency workers to access limited stock, will be phased out and stores will also be returning to regular trading hours.

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"As shopping patterns become more predictable, we’ll be going back to our regular trading hours across most of our Woolworths stores from Monday," he said.

"That means we’ll phase out the Community Hour we introduced at Woolworths during the demand surge, but after receiving a lot of constructive feedback, it’s something we wouldn’t hesitate to bring back if required."

Yet seniors will continue to gain benefits with a permanent discount of 10 percent on Delivery Unlimited for over-60s being made available from Friday afternoon.

Woolworths at Town Hall. Image: Dallas Kilponen

As customers have become used to changes in stores to maintain social distancing, no new measures or hygiene initiatives will be introduced going forward.

However, in some of the smaller stores such as the Metro branded stores, one-way aisles will be introduced from next week. This is to help with the flow of customers and to maintain social distancing.

After some 'teething issues' with hand sanitiser unit in stores dispensing too much, Banducci said this is being fixed "as quickly as we can."

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With stock levels returning to normal, the supermarket will further remove limits on more essential items, including rice, pasta sauce, noodles, cleaning products, sugar and eggs.

"I am very pleased to report that sales of most products are back to pre-COVID-19 levels," he said.

Just six categories still have limits in place (down from 45 at the height of the surge) and we’re hoping we can lift more next week.

Limits of two per person continue on antibacterial wipes, disinfectants flour and handwash as well as limits of four per person on hand sanitiser and toilet paper.

But panic buying of toilet paper looks like it's come to an end with sales on toilet paper dropping by four million rolls last week, now below the sales made during the corresponding week last year.

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"This week we are on track to sell between nine million and 9.5 million rolls, well down on our peak of 39.7 million rolls a week in mid-March or 11 million rolls this time last year."

It will be the last frequent CEO update from Banducci, explaining, "as we are now living in the new normal, it feels like the right time for me to sign off on the regular emails and provide updates a little less frequently."

Featured image: AAP

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