Coles launches new opening hours in hundreds of stores

Supermarket giant Coles has announced it is expanding opening hours across almost 200 stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

From Friday, selected stores will be opening their doors at 6am and all shoppers will be welcome. The Coles Community Hour - a set time from 7am exclusively for elderly, disabled and essential workers to shop for the past seven weeks - has now ended.

The supermarket says product availability is now returning to “normal levels” and it welcomes all customers back whenever stores are open.

Nearly 200 Coles stores across Australia will now open at 6am amid the pandemic. Source: Getty
Nearly 200 Coles stores across Australia will now open at 6am amid the pandemic. Source: Getty

“With supply almost back to normal for essential groceries, Coles is reopening this hour to all customers again as well as opening earlier where we can, to make shopping more convenient for everyone in the community,” Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said.

The supermarket says the additional time in store will “help ease the pressure faced by all Australians”, particularly parents and carers whose schedules have drastically changed amid the pandemic.

Coles’ safety measures continue to be rolled out

And while a sense of normality returns to stores Mr Swindells stressed ensuring the health and safety of customers is still vital and social distancing is a must.

“Our number one priority remains the health and safety of customers and our team members. As the government begins to look at easing restrictions, customers should remember that appropriate safety practices will still apply and we ask all customers to support with the same amazing collaboration we’ve seen in the past few weeks,” he said.

Coles says it is as committed as ever to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and teams are sanitising trolleys and baskets between use, while the busier stores will enforce customer limits if stores become too busy.

The supermarket is continuing its roll out of clear protective screens for staff and customers while it will roll out more sanitiser stations across stores.

Supermarkets have been at the forefront of the coronavirus narrative in Australia, with bulk-buying at the start of the outbreak leading to a shortage of several products, most notably toilet paper, hand sanitiser and dried and tinned foods.

Limits on products were introduced by leading supermarkets in the wake of the shortage, with some limits on products still in place at Coles.

However there is no longer a limit on toilet paper. Woolworths has also lifted its limit on toilet paper but a one-pack buying limit remains at Aldi.

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