Melburnians came to Kmart at the stroke of midnight to shop for household goods bargains after leaving the popular store for more than two months.
Residents queued for hours in front of the town’s retail chain stores on Tuesday evening when Kmart became one of the first retailers to open its doors to customers again.
Retailers in the Victorian capital were allowed to open their doors again from Wednesday as the city emerges from its crushing lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19.
To meet the high demand while meeting the capacity rules that allow only 20 people in the store at a time, Kmart has enforced a booking system in 38 retail locations in Melbourne.
More to come
Melburnians came to Kmart on Wednesday morning at the stroke of midnight to pick up a bargain (photo: people in line at Kmart in Sydney during the coronavirus pandemic)
Patrons are asked for it website or Social Q booking app to choose their favorite store.
She is also asked to enter the number of people on the shopping trip before choosing a preferred time from a calendar of available slots separated by 20 minute intervals.
Customers who do not book during peak periods will be rejected and asked to reserve a spot in a ‘virtual queue’ until the store is empty.
“If you come at peak times (when our store is full), we have a new service available to make your shopping trip easier,” the retailer said on his Facebook page.
When visiting the website (pictured) or the Social Q booking app, customers are asked to choose their preferred store before entering the number of people on the shopping trip
“With this service, you can continue shopping until we are ready to welcome you safely to the store. We’ll send you an SMS notification as soon as we’re ready for you. ‘
But shoppers on Facebook said they were having problems with the booking system.
“I’ve been trying to book so many times since 1pm when the booking system was changed so that you can actually book for Fountain Gate on Wednesday, October 28 at noon,” wrote one confused customer, followed by a series of error messages.
“It’s very frustrating that this is happening.”
Others were shocked that the store resorted to taking bookings.
Kmart (stock image) said shoppers are welcome to visit the store at any time as long as it’s not a peak period
‘How crazy is this system, why don’t you count people coming in and let someone in when someone leaves’, one user asked.
‘Supermarkets had this system and it worked very well. Not enough thought has gone into this system and how do people who do not have internet access, especially older people, do not come along. ‘
“I’ve been told you need to book in advance to get into your Melbourne stores. Is this true?’ asked another.
Kmart responded, saying shoppers are welcome to visit the store at any time as long as it’s not during peak periods.
‘If you want to stop by and visit us in the store … you can still do that. When the store is full, you will be immediately welcomed by a member of our team, ”the store replied.