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16 Mar 2020

As Well As Improving Access For The Elderly And Vulnerable, Coles Are Hiring 5000 New Workers Due To COVID-19

They are one of many Australian grocers who have put measures in place today to provide better access for elderly and vulnerable people.

In light of the recent toilet paper and long-life food shortages, many grocers have announced new policies to help some of the most vulnerable in our communities access the goods they need.

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Following Woolworth's lead earlier today, Coles is the latest supermarket chain to implement a daily "Community Hour", beginning this Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

From Wednesday the first hour of trade in all Coles supermarkets will be exclusively open to the elderly & disabled. “Community Hour” will help improve access during this time of unprecedented demand. Stores will also close no later than 8pm so team members can clean & restock.

This hour of trade will open exclusively to customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card and Health Care Card — with doors being open to all other shoppers after 8 a.m.

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Coles will also begin to close at 8 p.m. daily, which will give team members the time and space to extensively clean stores and replenish shelves for the following day of trade.

As well as ensuring better access for pensioners and the elderly, Coles is also planning on hiring at least 5000 new casual staff members — which will not only ensure the supermarket will continue to operate as normal in upcoming weeks, but help provide alternative employment opportunities during economic uncertainty.

Coles is hiring 5000+ casual team members to help us serve more customers and replenish shelves faster, while offering employment opportunities for Australians working in other industries impacted by COVID-19. To apply visit: https://t.co/itKJqVNeCo

These measures follow Coles' purchase limit on certain goods, including toilet paper, pasta and hand sanitisers.

To improve availability for all, purchase limits now apply at Coles for toilet paper (1 pack per customer) & pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues, & hand sanitisers (2 items per customer). From today, Coles will also limit the sale of mince to 2 packs per person.

Coles has also temporarily suspended some of their home delivery services — as well as their Uber Eats delivery options — so that they may prioritise vulnerable and isolated customers who are most in need at this time.

Coles CEO, Steven Cain, said in a written statement “We believe all Australians deserve the right to access their share of grocery items, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, so we are introducing “Community Hour” as a temporary measure for those who need some extra help during this challenging time."

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"We urge customers to shop as they normally would to ensure that everyone in the community has access to their share of grocery items. We will continue to look at a range of options to support our customers including working with our charity partners like Foodbank to deliver staple items to Australians in need, and further restrictions on products in limited supply to prevent over-purchasing."

You can keep up-to-date with all of our most recent coverage of the coronavirus here.

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