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‘There’s nothing here’: Elderly sold short in early opening

SENIOR shoppers were left disappointed by a lack of supplies after gathering en masse at Woolworths stores for a designated shopping hour for the elderly and the disabled amid the coronavirus crisis.

Today was the first day Woolworths "dedicated shopping hour" initiative, with the company announcing that between 7-8am - "until at least Friday" - its stores would be open exclusively for those with government issued concession cards.

Brisbane shoppers certainly made the most of the initiative with crowds gathering at Woolworths Ashgrove in the hopes of snagging some much needed necessities.

Entering the shops was more like queuing for a nightclub - Woolworths store officials checked IDs for every member of the queue, only allowing entry to the elderly and disabled.

While elderly shoppers appreciated a "more civilised" shopping atmosphere, the lack of supplies created a different sense of shopping panic.

"It's getting a bit desperate, you can't buy red meat… there's no mince, no bread," said shopper Susan Tate.

Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Bread shelves had not been restocked, fridges were bereft of meats.

"It's a bit sad.. You have to resort to buying frozen dinners," Ms Tate said.

"There's nothing there," said Allen Newton pushing an empty trolley.

Limited meat stocks during early morning senior shopping at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Limited meat stocks during early morning senior shopping at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

 

"I walked past the meat and it was all gone.

"Pastas, rice, toilet paper - you wonder if these will become trading items," Mr Newtown pondered.

Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

 

Other customers - donning gloves and surgical masks - were seen with trolleys full of non-perishables.

Reports surfaced of "not stocked shelves", "agro" shoppers and "security" and "police" presence at other stores.

"It's getting much more alarmist lately," Brisbane senior Marie Marinelli said.

Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Early morning senior shoppers at Woolworths, Ashgrove. Photographer: Liam Kidston.