Woolworths to close stores in Covid outbreak epicentre

Woolworths will move to online only purchasing for two of its southwest Sydney stores due to coronavirus.

Woolworths confirmed to Yahoo News Australia on Wednesday the Cecil Hills and Fairfield supermarkets will be temporarily closed.

The Cecil Hills Woolies will shut its doors on Friday at 10pm while the Fairfield supermarket closes at 10pm on Wednesday. It is not clear when either supermarket will return to normal operations but Woolworths said all staff from both supermarkets will be retained.

A general view is seen of Woolworths in Avalon  in Sydney, Australia.
A man leaves Woolworths wearing a face mask. Source: Getty Images

Woolies said the two supermarkets were “carefully selected” to minimise the impact on shoppers during Greater Sydney’s ongoing Covid crisis. The stores selected have a number of other Woolworths supermarkets within 5km of them should shoppers need to go in-store.

Shoppers who normally use the Cecil Hills store are being advised to access the Green Valley, Bonnyrigg and Miller supermarkets. Anyone looking to access Fairfield is being told to try Cabramatta, Chester Hill and Fairfield Heights.

Woolworths Operations Manager for Western Sydney Ian Roper said the push for online delivery is continuing to grow.

“This week we’ll be converting two of our stores to online delivery hubs to offer thousands more delivery windows in support of vulnerable members of the community in Western Sydney who aren't able to shop in store,” he said.

“We understand this will be inconvenient for some of our in-store customers and have sought to minimise this as much as we can by converting stores in close proximity to others.

“It’s an uncertain time for many in Sydney, and this will provide extra delivery capacity where it’s most needed to support the essential grocery needs of many more customers online.”

A shopper carries a reusable plastic bag at a Woolworths Sydney CBD store.
Woolworths will move into online only shopping for two of its stores in Sydney. Source: AAP

Shoppers angered by 'cruel' change

The change has angered some shoppers.

“People who live in this community rely on this store especially during lockdown,” one woman wrote on Facebook.

“This is not servicing the community at all.”

She claims it shows a “complete disregard for a large community”.

One man called the change “disgusting”.

“You clearly didn’t think about the vulnerable or the elderly,” he wrote.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic and Cecil Hills is one of the LGAs in lockdown. Woolworths this is a very cruel and selfish act.”

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