Woolworths shortages to hit hundreds of stores: 'Unforeseen'

Woolworths customers may notice some gaps on shelves this week, as disruptions with the retail giant’s newly constructed distribution centre are causing delivery delays.

“Due to a recent technical issue at our Heathwood Distribution Centre, some deliveries to our stores in Queensland were delayed last week,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News.

The Heathwood Distribution Centre provides chilled and frozen goods to 260 Queensland and Northern New South Wales stores.

Supply update sign explaining item shortage and photo of empty fridge
A technical glitch at Woolworths' newly opened $184 million Heathwood Distribution Centre has disrupted some deliveries. Source: Woolworths, Getty Images

Notifications of the supply disruption have begun appearing in many stores, with a sign at Woolworths Redland Bay telling customers: “We’re sorry if we’re missing some of your usual products today”.

Although Woolworths expects the issue to be rectified within the next few days, the retailer is assuring customers that key essentials will still be available prior to shelves being restocked.

Woolworths 'working hard' to fix issue

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News that the company sympathises with customers’ frustrations as it endeavours to rectify the delivery glitch.

“Our teams are working hard to ensure stock is delivered as quickly as possible, and it’s expected that customers should see further deliveries arrive over the next 48 hours.”

The spokesperson also reassured customers that many items remain in stock.

“While there is currently reduced availability of some items, we continue to have key essentials available,” they said.

“We know this is frustrating and thank our customers for their patience.”

Produce shortages expected until late June

As Queensland and Northern New South Wales copped their second lashing of heavy rainfall and flooding, Woolworths has warned that some key produce items may be temporarily scarce.

In a recent email, Woolworths’ General Manager of Fruit and Veg, Paul Turner, explained that many items, including lettuce, have been affected by the weather.

“After consistent rainfall and low sunlight across northern NSW and south-east, central and northern Queensland in recent months, the supply of fruit and veg has been impacted,” Mr Turner said.

Empty produce shelf in a Woolworths store
Woolworths has assured customers that essentials will still be available despite supply chain issues. Source: Getty Images

“Quantities will be much better once the Queensland season picks up around late June.

“Our team will continue to do everything they can, and work closely with our growers, to help improve supply as quickly as possible, and we thank you for your understanding.”

Spinach, strawberry and raspberry quantities are also predicted to be affected by the weather.

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