Woman's surprising experience during 90 minute Woolworths wait

Ash Cant
·4-min read

Amid all the panic buying following Premier Mark McGowan’s lockdown announcement, one woman from Perth has expressed how pleased she was with how Woolworths staff handled all the chaos.

Jacqui Harvey lives relatively close to the Harrisdale shops in Perth.

As it was announced Perth, Peel and South West regions would go into lockdown on Sunday night, Ms Harvey told Yahoo News Australia she thought she should grab a few essential items from Woolworths.

Initially thinking it wouldn’t be that bad, Ms Harvey explained she struggled to find a park due to there being so many cars.

Jacqui Harvey had a very positive experience while shopping at Harrisdale Woolworths, following the announcement that Perth, Peel and the South West region will go into lockdown. Source: Google Maps
Jacqui Harvey had a very positive experience while shopping at Harrisdale Woolworths, following the announcement that Perth, Peel and the South West region will go into lockdown. Source: Google Maps

“And when I finally got into Woolworths, it was a nightmare - there were people everywhere,” Ms Harvey said.

While she admits it was “chaos” to start with, things started to turn around when staff closed off the store, so only people inside could shop.

At one stage, it got to the point that the line was so long in the store, no one was actually shopping anymore, Ms Harvey said.

“So it was only the people in there that could walk around and there was people lining up, but they (the staff) were brilliant,” she said.

Ms Harvey waited around an hour-and-a-half to pay for her groceries, but she said she was extremely impressed with how the staff handled the situation and how other customers behaved.

“The whole time for an hour and a half, I was talking to everyone in the line just about life and everything,” she said.

“The staff at the checkouts were singing and chatting with people and laughing, and the hour and a half flew by.

“Everyone was so lovely and it was actually a really nice experience. Everyone was chatting and you don't usually do that when you're in the shops.”

Jacqui Harvey had an overwhelmingly positive experience while waiting in line at Woolworths after it was announced Perth would go into lockdown. Source: Supplied/Jacqui Harvey
Jacqui Harvey had an overwhelmingly positive experience while waiting in line at Woolworths after it was announced Perth would go into lockdown. Source: Supplied/Jacqui Harvey

Meanwhile, other shoppers around Perth wiped shelves bare, despite Premier Mark McGowan urging people not to panic buy when announcing the lockdown.

In addition to the staff walking up and down the line of the Harrisdale store to make sure everyone was okay, staff were allowing children to use the staff toilets out the back.

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Harrisdale Store Manager Ken Sloper said Woolworths staff “reacted calmly and efficiently to news of the lockdown”.

“We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the community and thank everyone for their understanding at this challenging time,” Mr Sloper said.

Some supermarkets in Perth filled with eager panic buyers while the premier was still announcing lockdown conditions. Source: Twitter
Supermarkets filled with eager panic buyers while the premier was still announcing lockdown conditions. Source: Twitter

‘Be kinder’ to frontline workers

In a statement regarding product limits at Woolworths stores, Woolworths WA General Manager Karl Weber acknowledged it is an anxious time for those impacted by the lockdown, but assured customers Woolworths is remaining open.

However, Ms Harvey wanted to recognise it’s also an incredibly stressful time for supermarket staff.

During the course of the pandemic, amid all the panic buying and rushing to supermarkets every time there is a lockdown, staff at supermarkets have remained frontline workers.

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“I've seen a lot of those stories where people are treated not nicely, fighting and all that sort of stuff and that just kills me because we're all in the same boat,” Ms Harvey said.

“They [supermarket staff] are human beings and they're on the frontlines, putting themselves at risk. And a lot of the workers are kids at these stores, you know.

“I just wish people would be kinder.”

Ms Harvey took to Facebook to praise the staff at the Harrisdale store after they were put under pressure following the announcement.

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