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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

Woolworths and Coles resume online delivery services

For the last month, online orders have only been available for the elderly, people with disability, and those who have been required to self-isolate.

Woolworths and Coles resume online delivery services

Supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles have each announced that they will now resume online deliveries and click and collect services to all customers after previously restricting them to assist vulnerable Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woolworths has partnered with couriers Sherpa and Drive Yellow to sign on 5,000 contracted delivery drivers to help get online orders to customers.

Each order will be capped at 40 items and delivered the next day.

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"While our first priority remains the most vulnerable in the community, we can now serve many more of our regular online customers, including Delivery Unlimited subscribers, as well," WooliesX managing director Amanda Bardwell said.

"We've worked hard behind the scenes to find innovative ways to provide much-needed additional delivery capacity across Australia. In partnership with Sherpa and Drive Yello, we now have a highly flexible and scalable way to meet the needs of many more of our online customers in the weeks and months ahead."

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Image: Woolworths

Woolworths and Coles customers will also have the option to pick up their online orders in-store.

Both retailers have said the elderly, people with disability, and those who are required to self-isolate will continue to be given priority when it comes to placing online orders and given windows for click and collect. 

"Vulnerable customers accessing the Coles Online Priority Service (COPS) remain our priority to ensure the elderly and those who cannot easily visit our stores have access to everyday grocery essentials," Coles said in an email to customers. 

Despite re-opening its online delivery service, Coles said it could not guarantee that all orders would be fulfilled. 

"Coles is experiencing high demand for all products. As a result, we are unable to guarantee that you will receive all items in your order," it said. 

"In an effort to fulfil your order as best we can, if an item is unavailable, wherever possible we will select a substitute within the same product category." 

Woolworths also announced it will open a 7,000 square metre pop-up delivery hub in Notting Hill, Melbourne next week to help fulfil what the retailer predicts will be more than 5,000 orders each week.

"Our pop-up delivery hub in Notting Hill is designed to complement the incredible work our online teams have been doing for our Priority Assistance customers in Victoria," Bardwell said.

"We'll keep a close eye on customer feedback to see if there is value in standing up more sites like this across Australia."

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