Woolworths takes out full-page ads to explain toilet paper shortage and new COVID-19 safety measures

Supermarket giant Woolworths has attempted to explain its product shortages to consumers in a full-page ad.

In an open letter from CEO Brad Banducci titled ‘A little better every day’, Woolworths reminded consumers it’s actually only been six weeks since panic buying relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) first began.

“Amazing as it might seem, we are still seeing almost double our normal demand for toilet paper,” Banducci explained, noting this equates to 20.5m rolls.

He conceded the brand isn’t where it needs to be with its toilet paper stocks, so pleaded with consumers to only buy what they need.

Woolworths is seeing unprecedented demand

Woolworths, along with IGA, Coles and Aldi, has previously taken out full-page ads to urge shoppers to be kinder to staff, and more reasoned and rational when making purchasing decisions.

The letter also explains an extra 1,000 pallets of pasta are coming to Woolworths stores each week – more than 500,000 extra packets – and it’s doing its best to keep up with demand for cleaning wipes.

On a lighter note, Branducci explained that two of its highest growth categories are cake mixes and household cleaning products.

“A lot more kids are baking and parents cleaning as well as spending time at home,” he said.

The letter also detailed how Woolworths is attempting to make shopping as safe as possible, as well as why its staff aren’t yet sporting gloves and masks.

The Woolworths ad on p2 of today’s The Daily Telegraph in Sydney (Click to enlarge)

In addition, the letter addressed home delivery delays, with Banducci saying it will be reintroduced area by area. It’s not, he noted, a small operation.

“Our customer care team has now doubled in size and we are answering 60% more calls than we were last week. And whilst the average phone wait time for Priority Assistance home delivery is still too long at 27 minutes, it is coming down rapidly with more people on our team to support you,” he said.

Banducci concluded by reassuring consumers Easter is still on this year, and the brand is taking it one step at a time.

“In summary, we are making progress. In partnership with our customers, the broader industry and state, territory and federal governments, we are getting a little better every day.”

The ad was on page two of both News Corp’s The Daily Telegraph and Nine’s The Sydney Morning Herald today.


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