Kmart winding back coronavirus restrictions, bringing back in-store services

Ash Cant
·3-min read

Kmart is making “small steps back to normality” by removing coronavirus restrictions and restoring certain customers services.

Kmart’s Retail Director John Gualtieri outlined how Kmart would be relaxing its in-store coronavirus policies effective May 13.

Registers in stores will once again be manned by staff, and ‘sneeze screens’ will be fitted by Friday.

Kmart’s self-serve photo kiosks have reopened while the department store’s customer holds service, which allows shoppers to call and reserve a product, is up and running again.

All purchase restrictions have also been lifted. Like Coles and Woolworths, Kmart had previously placed two per-person limits on items such as tissues, hand sanitisers and liquid soap.

Picture of a Kmart store, with a customer exiting the store.
Kmart is taking small steps to return to normality. Source: AAP

Mr Gualtieri said Kmart’s number one priority will be keeping team members and customers safe, so some measures will remain in place.

There will be a continued focus on cleaning and sanitisation in-store and physical distancing must still be practised with customers and team members keeping a safe distance of 1.5 metres.

Kmart will continue to limit the maximum number of people visiting a store at any one time.

“This may mean that customers will be asked to safely queue before entering our stores and for aisles in high traffic areas of the store,” Kmart explains on their website.

“During busy periods store teams will adhere to a ‘one in, one out’ system.”

In-store, physical contact will also be reduced whenever possible.

Surge in demand amid lockdown

Just like supermarkets around Australia, Kmart has experienced stock availability issues.

“Australian families have been adapting to this new way of life indoors - whether it be work, home, school or play,” Mr Gualtieri explained.

“And customer purchasing behaviour is certainly reflecting this.

“We’ve seen significant spikes in essential household items that help keep you working, keep you warm, keep you active and keep your little ones stimulated.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Kmart has seen a surge in demand across a number of departments, including home office, fitness, cookware, games and books.

However, Mr Gualtieri said Kmart is anticipating improved stock availability through May and June. Levels should normalise come July.

Picture of a Kmart trolley. Amid the pandemic, Kmart experienced a surge in demand for products as Australians adapted to the "new normal"
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Kmart has experienced a surge in demand across a number of departments. Source: AAP

“We appreciate your patience as our teams work hard to deliver the products you need, at a time you need them most,” he added.

Mr Gualtieri also revealed three new stores has been welcomed to the “Kmart family”.

Kmart Manor Lakes opened earlier in May, followed by Kmart Warragul on May 14. Kmart Clayton is slated to open on May 2.

The new stores in Victoria have allowed for 500 new team members to be recruited.

“Opening stores in new communities is just one of the ways we make shopping more accessible to more people and it’s at the heart of everything we do,” Mr Gualtieri said.

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