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Woolworths cuts trading hours to facilitate delivery for vulnerable Australians

Woolworths will reduce opening hours at 41 stores across the country to allow the supermarket giant to offer delivery services to the elderly, disabled and those in isolation.

It comes after both Woolworths and Coles were forced to put a halt on online deliveries due to a lack of stock availability, fuelled by panic buying.

Affected stores will have their hours reduced to 11am to 6pm to facilitate the return of delivery services.

In Victoria, 10 stores — The Avenue, Oakleigh, Newcomb, Bundoora, Epping, Pakenham (Lakeside South), Rosebud Central, Fountain Gate, Plenty Valley and Burwood East — will be affected.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci stressed only a small number of stores will have their opening hours reduced.

“We’ve got 1050,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“It is just dedicating that time to pick the orders for these home delivery customers and dispatching them, and then opening the shop to our regular customers.”

Mr Banducci said Woolworths hopes to resume home delivery to all customers in coming weeks, but current overwhelming demand means the supermarket giant has to prioritise the vulnerable.

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Image: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images