Coles “Community Hour” to help vulnerable customers, 5000+ new team members to boost service

16 March 2020

  • Coles to recruit 5000 new casuals to improve service in Coles supermarkets
  • Coles introduces “Community Hour” to provide better access for the elderly and vulnerable 
  • Coles Online to focus on isolated Australians

Today Coles is announcing a range of measures across our business to support our customers, team members and the community during the coronavirus outbreak.

The steps we are taking will help safeguard the wellbeing of our customers and team members while ensuring we can continue to provide groceries for the Australian community, as more customers prepare for the possibility of staying at home.

New Community Hour and changes to trading hours

From Wednesday 18 March, Coles supermarkets will launch a dedicated “Community Hour” in all supermarkets to improve access to essential groceries for the elderly and disadvantaged, during this time of unprecedented demand.

Coles supermarkets will temporarily change their trading hours to open 7am to 8pm on weekdays, with the first hour* of trade open exclusively to customers who hold a government-issued Pensioner Concession Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Companion Card and Health Care Card^. Once this hour is complete, all other customers will be invited through the doors to complete their grocery shop. 

Supermarkets will also close no later than 8pm to give our team members the time and space to extensively clean our stores and replenish the shelves for customers the next day.

* Where trading hour restrictions apply, such as WA and parts of QLD, Community Hour will be held from 8am to 9am, with normal trade to commence thereafter.
^ these arrangements will be reviewed as necessary. 

Recruitment drive

To help us continue to offer the best possible service to customers during this busy time, Coles is recruiting more than 5000 casual team members to work in supermarkets across Australia. This will allow us to serve more customers and replenish shelves faster, while offering employment opportunities for Australians working in other industries impacted by COVID-19. 

Casuals will have their inductions fast-tracked so we can boost the number of team members on the shop floor as quickly as possible. 

We are also seeking to hire more Customer Support Agents to drive our online delivery vans. 

To apply to join our team, visit: in new window

Changes to Coles Online 

To dedicate vans in our network to delivering groceries to those in genuine need, especially the most vulnerable and those isolated, home delivery orders for other valued customers will be temporarily suspended. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this will cause and a further announcement about this will be made in the coming days.

To avoid inconvenience for Coles Online customers who have been picking up incomplete Click&Collect orders due to lower product availability in stores, Coles will temporarily no longer accept Click&Collect orders.   
Coles has also temporarily cancelled its UberEats delivery service during this time to enable team members to improve availability in stores.

Community Personal Hygiene Focus

To minimise the spread of COVID-19 we are recommending that all team members and customers regularly consult the Government website in new window , which recommends regularly sanitising hands.  

Customers who are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been required by the Government to self-isolate should not attend our stores, and instead ask family or friends to help with their shopping needs.  

Supporting the community

If elderly or vulnerable people are unable to get to a supermarket to buy essential items, they can also log on to Foodbank’s website ( in new window ) to find a local charity or service nearby. 

Foodbank provides food relief for 2500 agencies across Australia with deliveries of items such as toilet paper, tissues and pantry staples to people in need.  

Government Thank you

Coles would like to thank the Federal, State and local Governments for rapid action around more flexible student visas and delivery windows for our stores.

A statement from Coles CEO Steven Cain:

“We believe all Australians deserve the right to access their share of grocery items, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, so we are introducing “Community Hour” as a temporary measure for those who need some extra help during this challenging time. 

“We urge customers to shop as they normally would to ensure that everyone in the community has access to their share of grocery items. We will continue to look at a range of options to support our customers including working with our charity partners like Foodbank to deliver staple items to Australians in need, and further restrictions on products in limited supply to prevent over-purchasing.  

“Coles is taking all possible steps to improve the level of stock on our shelves for the community. Our team members, suppliers and transport partners have been working as hard as possible delivering more products to stores every day and replenishing shelves of popular products such as toilet paper, long-life pantry staples and healthcare items as quickly as possible. 

“We have also significantly increased the number of team members working in our stores to support this level of unprecedented demand and we are actively recruiting for 5000 more casual team members.

“We ask for customers to continue to respect and support our team members in store and our Customer Care and Coles Online call centres, particularly if a product is unavailable or if the checkout queues are longer than normal.”

For more information and updates from Coles, including a list of current product limit restrictions, visit Opens in new window

For further information, please contact:
Coles Media Line (03) 9829 5250 or

Coles “Community Hour” to help vulnerable customers, 5000+ new team members to boost service

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