Coles cops backlash for delivery price hike
Supermarket giant Coles has come under fire for increasing its delivery prices and the threshold for free delivery by 25 per cent during the COVID-19 crisis.
Coles recently increased the free delivery threshold for orders from $150 or more to $200 and raised its delivery fee from $8 to $12.
The Queensland University of Technology Business School's Gary Mortimer said it was "disappointing".
"To raise it at this significant time when there is a need for delivery and a significant demand for this service, traditionally that increase in volume would mean lower costs," Mr Mortimer told AAP.
A Coles representative said the new delivery fees reflect the cost of picking, packing and delivering orders to customers.
BUYING RESTRICTIONS EASED
Supermarket giants Woolworths, Coles and Aldi on Wednesday eased some of their buying restrictions, in a sign that life may be returning to normal amid ongoing coronavirus concerns.
The move comes more than six weeks after supermarkets were forced to imposed buying limits due to hoarding and panic buying as a result of COVID-19.
Woolies and Coles have broadened their home delivery service for online customers, while Aldi has lifted product restrictions on UHT milk, microwave rice, canned foods and sugar.
Coles this week reopened its home delivery, "click and collect", to all customers, after having previously limited orders for vulnerable and remote Australians because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Woolworths will make "tens of thousands of extra weekly home delivery windows for online customers", WooliesX Managing Director Amanda Bardwell said.
Ms Bardwell said their delivery service was now extended to more than 850 of their 1000 stores and was complemented by their contracted courier companies adding 5,000 new drivers.
We're opening Delivery and Pick Up windows for all customers as we double online capacity to meet soaring demand. @DriveYello @sherpa_delivery— Woolworths (@woolworths) April 21, 2020
More here: https://t.co/z4ZAN4rjYh pic.twitter.com/JJP0sXXh4v
"While our first priority remains the most vulnerable in the community, we can now serve more of our regular online customers, including Delivery Unlimited subscribers, as well," she said.
"We've worked hard behind the scenes to find innovative ways to provide this much-needed additional delivery capacity across Australia."
A Coles representative said both their 'click and collect' and home delivery services were now available to all customers.
However, vulnerable customers remain their priority to ensure the elderly and those who cannot easily visit stores have access to everyday grocery essentials, they said.
After introducing purchasing limits after panic buying, Aldi said today: "we have worked closely with our business partners to ensure that we could get much needed product back on our shelves promptly.
"In a sign of positivity, we are pleased that product restrictions have lifted on UHT milk, microwave rice, canned foods and sugar.
"We also thank our customers for respecting and adapting to the restrictions and measures now in place across our stores."
However at Aldi purchasing limits still apply on toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, dry pasta, flour, dry rice, hand sanitisers, eggs and liquid soap.
Coles also announced it will donate extra food and groceries to the retail value of $1 million a week to help Australians who are facing hardship as a result of the coronavirus epidemic.
Since Woolworths introduced priority assistance in March for elderly customers, those with a disability and people in mandatory isolation, the supermarket chain said it had delivered to more than 300,000 customers in need.
Originally published as Coles cops backlash for delivery price hike