Supermarkets are showing signs of returning to normal across Australia, following the dramatic surge in panic buying in March.
Here’s the latest on opening and closing hours, purchase restrictions, home deliveries and special community shopping hours.
After seven weeks in operation, Coles is ending its ‘community shopping hour’ for the elderly and expanding general opening hours.
The grocer will once again open doors at 6am at almost 200 stores nationwide, because panic buying has eased.
Coles said its community hour had been “very popular” with eligible shoppers, but it was time to welcome all customers back whenever stores were open.
Demand for groceries and product availability were returning to more normal levels, a Coles spokesperson told nine.com.au.
Coles has also reopened its online shopping and deliveries, which had only been available to elderly and vulnerable customers during the peak of demand.
Woolworths has eased limits on a number of products, including toilet paper, rice, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.
Some products – pasta, frozen vegetables, tissues, baby wipes, baked beans, canned spaghetti, paper towels and disposable gloves – have had restrictions lifted entirely.
Nine.com understands there has been no change to reduced hours at Woolworths.
From 7am – 8am on weekdays, special shopping hours were set aside for the elderly, people with a disability, emergency services and healthcare workers.
The supermarket giant has also increased its online delivery capabilities, partnering with Uber, Sherpa and Drive Yello couriers to get goods out to customers.
The partnerships have seen Woolworths double its online capacity over the past month.
Last month, the grocer set up a two-day online delivery priority window to get goods to vulnerable customers.
Nine.com.au understands the supermarket did not alter its opening hours during the pandemic.
The grocer was one of the first retailers to stop accepting cash when the coronavirus started spreading in Australia.
IGA stores are independently operated so there is no blanket rule for all.
The chain did not set restrictions on trading hours during the pandemic, and restrictions on items were left up to store owners.
IGA’s regular Change of Mind policy on returns was temporarily suspended, to stop anyone who had hoarded sought after items returning goods back to the store.
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