‘There’s nothing here’: Elderly sold short in early opening
SENIOR shoppers were left disappointed by a lack of supplies after gathering en masse at Woolworths stores for a designated shopping hour for the elderly and the disabled amid the coronavirus crisis.
Today was the first day Woolworths "dedicated shopping hour" initiative, with the company announcing that between 7-8am - "until at least Friday" - its stores would be open exclusively for those with government issued concession cards.
We’re launching a dedicated shopping hour in our stores to help support the needs of the elderly & people with disability in the community. From tomorrow until at least friday, we’ll be opening exclusively for them to shop from 7-8am, where permitted.— Woolworths (@woolworths) March 15, 2020
Brisbane shoppers certainly made the most of the initiative with crowds gathering at Woolworths Ashgrove in the hopes of snagging some much needed necessities.
Entering the shops was more like queuing for a nightclub - Woolworths store officials checked IDs for every member of the queue, only allowing entry to the elderly and disabled.
While elderly shoppers appreciated a "more civilised" shopping atmosphere, the lack of supplies created a different sense of shopping panic.
"It's getting a bit desperate, you can't buy red meat… there's no mince, no bread," said shopper Susan Tate.
Bread shelves had not been restocked, fridges were bereft of meats.
"It's a bit sad.. You have to resort to buying frozen dinners," Ms Tate said.
"There's nothing there," said Allen Newton pushing an empty trolley.
"I walked past the meat and it was all gone.
"Pastas, rice, toilet paper - you wonder if these will become trading items," Mr Newtown pondered.
Other customers - donning gloves and surgical masks - were seen with trolleys full of non-perishables.
Reports surfaced of "not stocked shelves", "agro" shoppers and "security" and "police" presence at other stores.
The @woolworths hour for vulnerable/elderly was gr8 in theory but not in practice.— Sophie Elsworth (@sophieelsworth) March 16, 2020
➡️ Sick & elderly all congregated in one spot.
➡️ Crowds were insane, people getting agro.
➡️ Supermarket failed to restock shelves.
➡️ Security and police in tow.
➡️ People leaving empty handed.
"It's getting much more alarmist lately," Brisbane senior Marie Marinelli said.