Customers call for boycott as Woolworths bans cash at selected stores

Woolworths shoppers at a select number of stores can no longer pay with cash as part of a new trial being rolled out by the supermarket.

The completely cashless system is being enforced across 11 Woolworths Metro stores in Melbourne and Sydney in what the company hopes will “help make shopping as seamless as possible”.

But the move has been met with considerable controversy, with hundreds vowing to boycott the retail giant if it continued to refuse customers the ability to pay for groceries with cash.

A sign displayed in one store informing customers of the change, rolled out on Monday, and apologised for the inconvenience.

Photo shows sign in Woolworths telling customers cash payments will not be accepted.
This sign was displayed at one of the Woolworth Metro stores no longer accepting cash. Source: Facebook

“We have made changes to the way you can pay in this store. Payments can now only be made by card. We no longer accept cash payments or offer cash out facilities,” the notice read.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Call to boycott Woolworths over cash ban

An image of the sign made its way to Facebook, where the decision to scrap cash payments was widely criticised by a group calling on its members to “boycott Woolworths”.

“Ok, no more Woolies....We can't allow that to be the way, our right to use cash slowly seeps away,” one person wrote in a comment.

“This is getting so bloody ridiculous. They cannot refuse cash. They will lose so many customers,” another said.

“If Woolies go cashless I will never shop there unless I need to,” a third wrote.

Woolworths said in a statement cash was accepted at all of its regular sized stores and most of its Metro locations.

Photo shows Woolworths checkouts as Metro stores trial completely cashless payments.
The cashless system is being rolled out in 11 Metro stores. Source: AAP

“We want Woolworths Metro to be the easiest place to pick up your next meal, top up your grocery shop or buy your next coffee,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

“To help make shopping as seamless as possible for busy inner-city customers we’re trialling card only transactions in a handful of Metro stores in CBD locations.

“These stores have very few cash transactions. Cash remains an important payment option for many of our customers and will continue to be offered as a payment form in all Woolworths Supermarkets and the majority of our Metro stores.

“We will closely monitor the feedback from our customers as we trial this new offer.”

What stores will be affected?

  • Melbourne: Bourke Street, Melbourne Central, Swanston Street, Elizabeth Street, Collins Square, and Little Collins

  • Sydney: York Street, George Street, North Sydney, Manly and Strawberry Hills

Coles recently came under fire for a change to its online payment system after it stopped allowing customers to order items in advance without removing the total cost from their bank account.

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