Coles' dramatic online shopping move amid buying frenzy

Josh Dutton
News Reporter

Coles has announced it won’t be delivering online orders for the foreseeable future except to its “most vulnerable” customers.

In a statement, the supermarket said in order to dedicate its vans to delivering groceries to those in genuine need, the most vulnerable and isolated, other orders will be suspended. 

“We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause and a further announcement about this will be made in the coming days,” Coles said.

In another bid to help the elderly and vulnerable, Coles announced on Monday it’s changing its hours nationally to 7am-8pm during the week.

The first hour will allow only those with a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card and Health Care Card to shop.

Coles will now only deliver to the vulnerable or isolated. Source: AAP (file pic)

CEO Steve Cain said in a statement the supermarket is taking “all possible steps” to improve the level of stock in store.

“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,” he said.

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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.”

The supermarket said it’s also suspended its UberEats delivery service.

It will also no longer accept Click&Collect orders.

It emerged on Sunday, Coles customers are being asked when shopping online to tell the supermarket if they’re in self-isolation.

“Customers are required to notify Coles that they are self-quarantined by ticking the relevant box and/or by leaving a comment before finalising their online order,” a spokesperson for the supermarket told Yahoo News.

“They will then receive an ‘unattended delivery’ where the CSA (customer service agent) leaves their groceries at their front door, removing the need for any face-to-face interaction.”

More to come.

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