Coronavirus: Kmart limits shoppers in store and in aisles

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

Kmart Australia has announced new measures to protect shoppers and staff from COVID-19.

In an email sent to customers on Thursday, Kmart retail director John Gualtieri told shoppers the chain had been “facing some very big challenges” and had seen an increase in demand across several of their everyday lines.

In order to cope with social-distancing requirements and to keep customers and staff safe, Kmart said they had introduced over 100 new initiatives.

Kmart introduces new rules to cope with coronavirus pandemic.
Kmart said they had introduced over 100 new initiatives in order to cope with coronavirus. Source: AAP

Limiting number of shoppers in Kmart stores

Each location will limit the number of customers that can be in store at the same time with physical distancing regulations now a condition of entry, Mr Gualtieri said.

“This may mean that customers will be asked to safely queue before entering our stores along with a limit of customers per aisle in high traffic areas of the store. During busy periods, store teams will adhere to a ‘one in, and one out’ system,” he said.

Posters and floor guides will assist shoppers with 1.5-metre distancing, but Mr Gualtieri cautioned “this may mean that processing your purchase may take a little longer and short delays may be experienced”.

The email sent to customers on Thursday also stated all fitting rooms would be temporarily closed as well as photo kiosks.

“The health and safety of our customers and team members is our number one priority and we’re working hard to keep our stores clean, safe and fully compliant with government regulations,” Mr Gualtieri said.

Kmart has introduced new COVID-19 cleaning measures for trolleys and baskets.
Kmart stores will undergo a “deep clean” each day and a store greeter will regularly wipe down basket and trolley handles. Source: AAP

Staff care

Kmart said that while it would provide gloves for staff members, they are following the current guidance from the World Health Organisation and the Department of Health, and do not require staff to wear gloves or masks while working.

“However‚ if our team members feel more comfortable doing so‚ we absolutely respect their decision,” Mr Gualtieri explained.

Each store has increased cleaning and will undergo a “deep clean” daily, while a store greeter will regularly wipe down basket and trolley handles.

During the day staff have been trained to increase cleaning on high-touch surfaces, including wiping down self-serve registers after each customer with disinfectant spray.

Hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes are also available for shoppers and staff to use.

Easing return policies

Mr Gualtieri said they understood these were “challenging times” so stores have extended the return period from 28 days to 60 days.

Layby timelines have also been extended to 60 days and the ‘click and collect’ collection period has been increased from from 10 days to 20 days.

Kmart shoppers wearing face masks.
Kmart customers will be asked to pack their own bags and it is encouraging payment by tap-and-go where possible. Source: Getty Images

Online orders are free with a minimum purchase of $45 and the retailer has introduced a dedicated customer service phone line for senior customers and customers with a disability.

Customers will be asked to pack their own bags and Kmart is encouraging payment by tap-and-go where possible.

All stores have also temporarily reduced trading hours, with regular revisions being done.

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