Lower Eyre supermarkets accommodate pre-lockdown rush

LINE UP: Customers line up for the checkout in Woolworths Port Lincoln.
LINE UP: Customers line up for the checkout in Woolworths Port Lincoln.

Customers and supermarket staff across Lower Eyre Peninsula have been praised for their efforts on Wednesday ahead of the beginning of the statewide lockdown on Thursday.

Supermarkets across the state saw a huge influx of customers as people stocked up before the lockdown began at midnight.

It was no different for Woolworths Port Lincoln which had measures in place to accommodate the influx of customers after the lockdown was announced.

Store manager Loris Tesolin said the health and safety of customers and team members was top priority.

"Our store team reacted calmly and efficiently to news of the lockdown, and were quick to implement a number of social distancing measures," he said.

"These included the introduction of a Health and Safety Ambassador at the front of the store, an in-store customer count and QR code contact tracing help to provide a safe shopping experience for all our customers."

Mr Tesolin said while demand was elevated, it was not as high as other parts of the state and for this thanks went to the Port Lincoln community.

"We look forward to continuing to meet the needs of the community and thank everyone for their understanding at this challenging time," he said.

A similar situation was seen in Tumby Bay as the local Foodland experienced a rush of customers just after lunch.

Store owner Kerry Stutley said while the store was not prepared for the sudden increase in numbers due to the short notice of the lockdown announcement it quickly responded and overall there was a good result.

"We limited the number of people coming into the store and there was a lineup at the entrance to alleviate the pressure on the registers because the lineups were clogging the isles," she said.

"We ran out of bread early but for most other items we had enough stock and we were lucky enough to have a load of fresh produce coming in on Thursday."

Mrs Stutley said the supermarket extended its thanks to the understanding customers who cooperated with staff.

She said staff were also great in making sure everything went as smooth as possible.

"There was no time for scheduling so staff jumped in to get the job done," she said.

"They were incredibly under the pump and handled it very well."