Woolworths stores in Melbourne have gone into overdrive this morning after the elderly and vulnerable walked out of supermarkets empty-handed, despite having a dedicated timeslot to pick up their groceries.
Amid the coronavirus crisis and the public’s obsession with stockpiling, widespread concern began after photos emerged online of the elderly struggling in supermarkets to get supplies that had disappeared off shelves.
To help solve the issue, Woolworths announced on Monday that they would open up the store to the elderly and people with disabilities exclusively from 7am-8am each day.
Woolworths kicked things off on Tuesday morning with a string of crowds ready to try things out, and unfortunately at some locations, it didn’t go as well as they had hoped.
Dozens waiting for the first hour of trade for seniors at Woolworths Coburg. But customers have been warned there’s not much toilet paper. pic.twitter.com/9JsB4BRj2w
— Paul Dowsley (@pauldowsley7) March 16, 2020
Pensioners hoping to get household necessities such as toilet paper and paper towels missed out after stock didn’t arrive. At other locations, antibacterial soap and tissues were handed out by staff.
— Brad (@RedDevil723) March 16, 2020
Mince meat has also become a big ticket item recently and reportedly wasn’t available either.
Woolies were all talk, not enough stock of toilet paper or other essentials for our most vulnerable this morning: instead forcing them into huge crowds for no reason other than the sake of the yesterday's publicity. #COVID19au pic.twitter.com/oDip9LzTmo
— normal lily (@Maveritan) March 16, 2020
— Sophie Elsworth (@sophieelsworth) March 16, 2020
Woolworths will be reviewing the new program this week, which they plan to roll out for the next few months. Coles will begin their own event, titled ‘Community Hour’ on Wednesday with a similar format.