From this Friday, Coles will be expanding trading hours for everyone, including opening almost 200 stores earlier at 6am.

The changes are being made to help ease the pressure faced by all Australians, including parents and carers who are busy home schooling their children, in addition to many customers working from home.

For the past seven weeks, the first hour of trade from 7am to 8am on weekdays has been dedicated to Coles Community Hour, so elderly and vulnerable customers as well as emergency services and healthcare workers could have access to essential food and groceries.

Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said Coles Community Hour had been very popular with eligible shoppers, but now that demand for groceries and product availability were returning to more normal levels it was time to welcome all customers back whenever stores were open.

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“Our number one priority remains the health and safety of customers and our team members. As the government begins to look at easing restrictions, customers should remember that appropriate safety practices will still apply and ask all customers to support with the same amazing collaboration we’ve seen in the past few weeks,” he said.

“With supply almost back to normal for essential groceries, Coles is reopening this hour to all customers again as well as opening earlier where we can, to make shopping more convenient for everyone in the community.”

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Coles has also reopened Coles Online orders, which had been dedicated entirely to elderly and vulnerable customers during the peak of demand, to all shoppers – providing another shopping option to customers who may otherwise have needed to visit a store.