Coles stores across Australia will expand their opening hours and will now open earlier as large numbers of people continue working from home.

The supermarket giant said the expanded hours will kick in from Friday, and will include nearly 200 stores, will now open from 6AM.

Coles said the changes were brought in to help the pressure placed on Australian families who are busy working from home.

Thursday will also see the end of the dedicated shopping hour for elderly and vulnerable members of the community, which was also expanded to emergency and health care workers.

Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells spoke about the removal of the community hour, saying “The reason we started Coles Community Hour was because excess demand led to limited availability, which meant we had lots of people eager to get into stores early in the morning.’’

“Having a dedicated shopping hour for some of the most vulnerable members of the community, as well as those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, was really beneficial.”

“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 will continue to practice social distancing inside its stores.

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