Supermarkets intervene to help seniors

Hats off to Woolworths (and now Coles).

The supermarket giant announced it will open at 7am to 8am exclusively for seniors, so that older Australians are able to buy necessary items, instead of missing out because of the mobs who have depleted shopping shelves all over Australia.

The measure is in effect from 7am Tuesday 17 March and older consumers will need to be in possession of a relevant concession card.

The chain will also announce which stores will be exempt from the altered trading arrangements.

The temporary measure will last until Friday 30 March at least, and is aimed at reducing the panic buying which has stunned Australians.

“The move has been prompted by the unprecedented demand in supermarkets over the past week, which has seen many elderly and vulnerable people in the community missing out on vital items they may need when they shop,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

Woolworths Managing Director, Claire Peters best summed up the current situation by saying this, “Now - more than ever - we need to be kind to each other, especially to those most vulnerable.”

Not to be outdone, Coles announced it would also institute similar arrangements across its stores from Wednesday 18 March for those with government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card and Health Care Cards.

Coles also announced it was putting out the call for 5,000 casual employees to allow them to serve more customers and replenish shelves faster. To apply you can go to  

National Seniors Australia CEO, Professor John McCallum applauded the move.

“It’s simple and it’s a good idea in unusual circumstances,” he said.

“This is not a time to just think of ourselves, but to look out for our fellow Australians.”