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Australia Woolworths ABANDONS its cashless store trial

11:40  02 march  2021
11:40  02 march  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Woolworths has scrapped its plan to go cashless after irate customers threatened to boycott the stores and pensioners slammed the supermarket for being 'ageist'.

The supermarket promised the cashless trial, which began in June, would create a 'seamless' shopping experienced for inner-city customers in 14 stores around Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

But furious customers criticised the move, claiming it was wrong for stores to refuse notes and coins.

'I refuse to shop at any of your card-only places,' one customer wrote on Woolworths' Facebook page.

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a person standing in front of a laptop: Pictured: A Woolworths customer at a self-service checkout in Sydney. Some stores refused to accept cash payments © Provided by Daily Mail Pictured: A Woolworths customer at a self-service checkout in Sydney. Some stores refused to accept cash payments

'Cash is legal tender and I do not support the cash ban and will take my money elsewhere.'

One Sydneysider was horrified when he realised a homeless man couldn't buy food at the Central Park store because it only accepted cards.

'He was distressed. And then a Woolworths staffer who had finished her shift quietly paid for his food. The corporate head office needs to act like the staff,' he tweeted.

Someone else replied: 'I can't believe this ridiculous change was allowed through. It's exclusionary and wrong to deny people the right to use cash.'

National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Hensche said the trial was 'a form of ageism' that disadvantaged elderly shoppers who 'grew up with piggy banks, cash and cheques'.

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'These are people who grew up with cash and they feel comfortable with cash, it is what they want,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

'If I was an 89-year-old pensioner, why should I be prevented from shopping at my local supermarket?'

Woolworths Metro general manager Justin Nolan said the retailer failed to 'fully appreciate' the reasons why some shoppers choose to use cash over card.

'While almost all Metro customers choose to pay with cards, cash remains incredibly important to those who don’t for a whole range of reasons,' he said.

text: One Sydneysider was horrified when he realised a homeless man couldn't buy food at the Central Park store because it only accepted card (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail One Sydneysider was horrified when he realised a homeless man couldn't buy food at the Central Park store because it only accepted card (pictured) a woman standing in front of a store: National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Hensche said the trial was 'a form of ageism'. Pictured: A Woolworths shopper in Sydney © Provided by Daily Mail National Seniors Australia chief advocate Ian Hensche said the trial was 'a form of ageism'. Pictured: A Woolworths shopper in Sydney

Based on the feedback, Mr Nolan said the supermarket would end the trial and progressively reintroduce cash options in all metro stores by March 10.

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Melbourne stores that took part in the trial included Caulfield North and Yarraville, along with two outlets on Bourke and Elizabeth streets in the city.

Sydney supermarkets included Manly and Rosebery, and two stores on York Street and George Street in the CBD.

The stores were chosen because only 10 per cent of all monthly transactions were made in cash.

The move to go cashless was accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many businesses claiming card-only transactions were more hygienic.

According to researchers, it is possible but improbably to spread Covid-19 through coins and notes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia also found that cash payments plunged from 69 per cent in 2007 to 27 per cent in 2019.

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