Woolworths boss' critical email to customers amid coronavirus outbreak

Woolworths has announced new measures to keep shelves full as customers around the country continue to stock up on staples during the coronavirus pandemic.

The supermarket giant was the first in Australia to address the shortage of toilet paper by limiting purchase quantities and revising its refund policies to refuse change of mind refunds for items currently in high demand.

Woolworths CEO, Brad Banducci, announced on Friday evening the supermarket would no longer be providing toilet paper for pick-up orders.

“To help everyone access the essential things they need, limits are now in place on toilet paper, wipes, paper towels, serviettes, rice and some other items,” Mr Banducci said in en email sent to Woolworths Rewards customers.

“It also, unfortunately, means that toilet paper won't be available for pick-up orders for the time being, but our team will be happy to see if toilet paper is available in store when you come in to pick up your order,” he said.

The Woolworths CEO said the supermarket was currently working with suppliers to meet increasing demand and were prioritising the manufacturing of small packs of toilet paper to make sure more customers could purchase supplies.

Pictured is a split photo (left) the front of a Woolworths supermarket and (right) a customer holding a reusable bag filled with toilet paper.
Woolworths has announced changes on toilet paper purchases if you choose to order online and pick up in store. Source: Getty

“Our toilet paper suppliers continue to work on meeting increased demand, and we're working with some suppliers to prioritise the production of smaller pack sizes, so we can make more packs available to you this week,” Mr Banducci said.

Woolworths made the announcement at the same time as the supermarket began its partnership with Meals on Wheels to provide toilet paper to those who rely on the food delivery service and are unable to purchase toilet paper in store due to the current high demand.

Other retailers have announced new measures to cope with the coronavirus epidemic.

Pictured are empty shelves at Woolworths and Coles during coronavirus outbreak.
Empty shelves in supermarkets have become a common sight as Australians continue to panic buy amid coronavirus fears. Source: Supplied

Coles will begin enforcing a two-per-customer limit on items including pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues and hand sanitisers from Saturday.

Make-up store Mecca have paused all make-up application services to avoid using the same brushes and applicators on customers. They have also retrained staff in hygiene techniques.

Cinemas Reading announced they have stepped up cleaning with a focus on high-touch areas and are allowing more flexible seating arrangements for patrons, encouraging them to leave gaps in between seating.

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