Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Lifestyle

Get RSM on your side at tax time.

Dickson Woolworths – I hope you’re not in a rush!

By Alexandra Craig - 24 February 2015 28

stock-supermarket-groceries-shopping-trolley

We all hate having to navigate through a packed supermarket and we all hate waiting for a loooong time at the checkout, but surely copping both of these annoyances at once is pretty uncommon, right? Not if you shop at Dickson Woolworths.

I challenge anyone to go to Dickson Woolworths to buy a handful of groceries and be in and out in ten minutes. Even if you can grab the items you want in a flash, it’s likely that you’ll have to wait ages in line. I think, with the exception of maybe two occurrences, it has been packed at Dickson Woolies every time I’ve been there.

The problem is that there are only ever about two or three registers open. The staff seem to be a bit slower than what you’d expect during busy periods so it takes an eternity to get through the checkout. Of course the self-service registers are open, but the average person is much slower than your slowest register operator so these don’t offer much alleviation for the deep lines of shoppers.

I don’t tend to ever do a big grocery shop because of my lifestyle, it just works out better for me to grab things as I need them. But for those who do a big weekly shop with an overflowing trolley, this place is torturous. I waited in line for 20 minutes the other day to buy four bananas. Other supermarkets in the ACT aren’t even this bad at Christmas.

Every time I go there I ask myself why I’ve subjected myself to this again. I assume the reason people continue to go there, like me, is because there’s no other major supermarket nearby. The closest would be Coles or Woolworths at Belconnen or Coles or Woolworths at Gungahlin. If you live in the Dickson area and need some bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, you’re not going to drive all the way to Belco or Gungahlin for it. But then you end up spending half your night in Dickson. I frequently reorganise my day so I can get my groceries elsewhere purely to avoid the Dickson Woolies.

I put the question to Woolworths on their Facebook page, if their Dickson store is actually the busiest in the country why is it so understaffed. I explained that it takes a long time to get to the checkout and whatnot, but of course the response I received was along the lines of ‘Thank you for your feedback, we’ll keep that in mind.’  Thanks for that, Woolies. Keep up the great work.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
28 Responses to
Dickson Woolworths – I hope you’re not in a rush!
therealarigold 10:39 pm 24 Feb 15

It’s quite simple really, Masters are costing Woolies a fortune and guess where savings have to be made to allow the hardware sector to survive? Thats right, the supermarkets are footing the bill. Oh and yes, shareholders demand a bigger dividend each and every year. Yes it is unfortunate, but like anything, you have choices so why not explore them.

JC 9:33 pm 24 Feb 15

watto23 said :

I think they could come up with a trolley self serve aisle with the conveyor belt so that people could unload the trollies and pay for them and pack them quickly, instead of stuffing around in a small space trying to get things out of their full trolley, scan them (much slower now the scales are turned on and everything has to be weighed before scanning the next item), bag them shuffle things around the trolley to swap bags etc…

Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s had these when I lived in the UK a good 8 years ago. Basically the conveyor was quite a bit longer to more or less hold a full trolleys worth of shopping and on the scan side it had a conveyor that I assume weighed your goods, then had a dividing bar you moved to direct shopping into two bagging locations. One location was for your shopping, the other was for the person who used it before you.

Or even better still when I visited the UK last year both these chains had scan as you go. Basically you carry a scanner with you, scan, then dock the scanner and pay and bag at your car. They then do random audits of your shopping to ensure your not nicking things. Also used this at a supermarket in The Netherlands circa 2009. The new Woolowrths trolleys look like they are designed to hold a scanner, so maybe it is on the cards.

bd84 9:24 pm 24 Feb 15

Yep woolies at Dickson is busy, always has been. They would probably benefit from having more express and self serve checkouts to get people buying a small number of items through quickly. It appears that they’re fairly restricted in what they can do with the store being smaller than the average.

Allowing supermarkets to be stuck up on every corner until you have every brand in every centre does nothing. Plenty of Aldis around, they all have a reasonable price, terrible range and service with 1 or 2 checkouts open with lines a mile long. Coles match Woolies for service, both ok most of the time, except for when everyone shops at once. People choose one or the other based on their preference, some people can tolerate the terrible layout of Coles stores.

Hamlet201 8:15 pm 24 Feb 15

The other problem with Woolies Dickson – and probably others is that they always seem to be stacking the shelves and cluttering up the aisles. They park their big trolley things right in front of the shelves that you are trying to get to, and make no effort to move them for you. At night it’s the worst you can barely get through the aisles. I can’t wait till Aldi and Coles open up there – It’s been a long time coming though.

HiddenDragon 5:52 pm 24 Feb 15

Competition and choice certainly do help – in my observation service is better (less bad?) where you have at least 2 of Coles/Woollies/Aldi within easy walking distance of each other. Let’s just hope they don’t follow the lead of the banks and start (or try to….) charging people for the privilege of having the assistance of a checkout operator!

Kalliste 5:42 pm 24 Feb 15

watto23 said :

Woolies at Erindale can be pretty bad as well. What annoys me most is people taking trollies through the self-serve checkout. The space is limited, it holds the queue up and there is often a couple of checkout people on and I use those because its quicker! I think they could come up with a trolley self serve aisle with the conveyor belt so that people could unload the trollies and pay for them and pack them quickly, instead of stuffing around in a small space trying to get things out of their full trolley, scan them (much slower now the scales are turned on and everything has to be weighed before scanning the next item), bag them shuffle things around the trolley to swap bags etc…

Yes! Trolley’s shouldn’t be allowed through self serve.. In Dickson it is especially annoying. Not to mention that people that usually try to do a trolley sized shop at self serves are the slowest people known to man!

Woolworths self serve checkouts used to be fairly decent until they increased the sensitivity of them and not they’re just painful “are you using your own bag?” and then there is no option for Yes… !!

In regards to Dickson specifically, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the deli.. it has to be the worst deli section in a supermarket anywhere in Canberra.. it closes at about 8:30 so there is no chance of going late and avoiding everyone and at other times there is just a massive queue. I remember one time I waited about 15mins just to get ham.. and although there were 10 or so people queuing one of the staff members went on break leaving another poor staff member alone to serve everyone.

The best time I’ve found for Dickson Woolworths is either around/after 8 and also mid morning, 9 – 11 as it’s basically empty.

tim_c 4:45 pm 24 Feb 15

I think it must be a Woolworths thing. I refused to go to Woollies Weston on my way home from the office, ever. Even in quiet times, they seemed to close down registers strategically to make it take just as long in quiet times as it would in busier times. I didn’t believe it when my brother told me Coles in Curtin was not like that, then I tried it – wow, back in my car with a handful of things within 5 minutes, even at 5:30pm! I figure it’s quicker to drive the extra distance to Coles in Curtin than to wait in a queue at Woollies in Weston. I figure they are trying to drive their customers to the opposition.

While we’re talking about Woollies, is it company policy for their service stations to have orange “out of order” tags hanging on half the bowsers?

shirty_bear 4:16 pm 24 Feb 15

Woolworths clearly has a policy of under-staffing the checkouts … simple cost-cutting presumably, with the added benefit (for them) that it tends to drive customers to the self-serve checkouts. This is why I only use Woolies when there is no ready alternative.

Dickson Woolies is particularly busy, so it’s particularly slow to get through.

It’s not rocket surgery.

dungfungus 12:29 pm 24 Feb 15

watto23 said :

Woolies at Erindale can be pretty bad as well. What annoys me most is people taking trollies through the self-serve checkout. The space is limited, it holds the queue up and there is often a couple of checkout people on and I use those because its quicker! I think they could come up with a trolley self serve aisle with the conveyor belt so that people could unload the trollies and pay for them and pack them quickly, instead of stuffing around in a small space trying to get things out of their full trolley, scan them (much slower now the scales are turned on and everything has to be weighed before scanning the next item), bag them shuffle things around the trolley to swap bags etc…

I share your concerns watto.
The problem is that there is often no choice at Woolies Erindale but to use the self-serve ones when none of the manned checkouts are open. All their machines are a disaster.
It has become the same at Coles Chisholm.
Aldi Chisolm know how to do it efficiently and IGA Wanniassa are fast. The longer conveyor belts help.

qbninthecity 11:52 am 24 Feb 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Ghettosmurf87 said :

If waiting 10 minutes is an issue, don’t go when Woolies Dickson is likely to be at its busiest, i.e after work from 5-7pm or midday-mid afternoon (12-3) on weekends when people are doing their weekly shop. It’s really not that hard.

I regularly drop past Dickson Woolies after footy training, so after 7:30 or 8 pm and can always get a park in the first row (closest to the library) and don’t have to wait longer than 5min in the line, though it’s usually only a minute or two.

If I have to drop in at busy times then I understand that I might have to wait 10 minutes or so.

But really, in the grand scheme of things, is 10minutes that long to wait? Slow down, take a breath, think about a few other things while you wait and before you know it you’ll be out of there.

BTW, how late were you getting those bananas? Because the fruit shop just past the chemist would probably have had no line if it was open. The old guy that runs it is a legend in my books. I came in one day looking for radishes because woolies didn’t have any. There were none on the stands, but he went out the back and got me the last bunch. Didn’t cost much at all either. Saved my dinner menu did he!

I’ve been at a variety of times – first thing in the morning, late at night, mid morning on a weekend, mid afternoon on a weekday. It’s always overflowing with people.

Re the bananas – it was at night time. Probably 8.30pm so I presume the fruit shop would have been closed.

When I lived in Braddon, I used to either do a quick shop at Ainslie IGA, or for a bigger shop I’d drive out to Belco and for emergency things go to the dreaded Dickson Woolies.

I found with Dickson, you needed to go after 8pm, better still closer to 9pm to avoid the queues. Not sure what you are talking about regarding it being busy first thing in the morning, if you are there between 7-7.30am there is only a handful of people there

Dame Canberra 11:14 am 24 Feb 15

The lines at Dickson Woolies aren’t a new problem either: http://the-riotact.com/the-pain-of-woolworths-dickson-and-the-need-for-a-market-driven-solution/7673

The Dickson Master Plan includes plans for an additional supermarket and basement parking, so perhaps this won’t be an issue for too much longer.

JC 11:09 am 24 Feb 15

Alexandra, you raise some interesting points, which to me goes to the heart of the Governments supermarket policy. A point I tried to make in a thread about the new development at Dickson, but was apparently censored as my post never appeared.

Anyway as you say, Woolworths Dickson is the only major (read Coles or Woolworths) supermarket in the inner north, the remainder are suburban IGA’s (Lyneham, Turner, Ainslie and Hackett) and of course Supabarn and IGA in the city and a couple of other smaller supermarkets at North Lyneham and Watson.

Yet here we have the one and only major in the area, which is far from the biggest and best Woolworths I’ve ever set foot in yet it is still so busy. With so much other competition around you really have to ask why is this Woolworths so busy? Of course the answer is many people are making the choice, yet elsewhere the Government pushed by the Canberra supermarket mafia want to limit competition by excluding majors, even though elsewhere in Canberra people are shopping with their feet and choosing the majors.

Anyway never mind in Dickson your problems will be solved once they start the new Coles development. Woolworths without a doubt will be the biggest looser out of that development. Not just because of new competition, but by the fact that it is going to be rather inconvenient to shop at Woolworths, both during construction and once it opens. Looking at the plans people will need to park in the Coles undeground car park, then come up and ramp and cross the road to get to Woolworths. But for Coles and Aldi, it will be just up the ramp and your their.

The other options for Woolworth shoppers will be to park next to the Tradies and again cross the road, or maybe park in the small carpark near the post office/NAB.

End result is it will be quieter at Woolworths Dickson.

watto23 10:58 am 24 Feb 15

Woolies at Erindale can be pretty bad as well. What annoys me most is people taking trollies through the self-serve checkout. The space is limited, it holds the queue up and there is often a couple of checkout people on and I use those because its quicker! I think they could come up with a trolley self serve aisle with the conveyor belt so that people could unload the trollies and pay for them and pack them quickly, instead of stuffing around in a small space trying to get things out of their full trolley, scan them (much slower now the scales are turned on and everything has to be weighed before scanning the next item), bag them shuffle things around the trolley to swap bags etc…

Alexandra Craig 10:15 am 24 Feb 15

Ghettosmurf87 said :

If waiting 10 minutes is an issue, don’t go when Woolies Dickson is likely to be at its busiest, i.e after work from 5-7pm or midday-mid afternoon (12-3) on weekends when people are doing their weekly shop. It’s really not that hard.

I regularly drop past Dickson Woolies after footy training, so after 7:30 or 8 pm and can always get a park in the first row (closest to the library) and don’t have to wait longer than 5min in the line, though it’s usually only a minute or two.

If I have to drop in at busy times then I understand that I might have to wait 10 minutes or so.

But really, in the grand scheme of things, is 10minutes that long to wait? Slow down, take a breath, think about a few other things while you wait and before you know it you’ll be out of there.

BTW, how late were you getting those bananas? Because the fruit shop just past the chemist would probably have had no line if it was open. The old guy that runs it is a legend in my books. I came in one day looking for radishes because woolies didn’t have any. There were none on the stands, but he went out the back and got me the last bunch. Didn’t cost much at all either. Saved my dinner menu did he!

I’ve been at a variety of times – first thing in the morning, late at night, mid morning on a weekend, mid afternoon on a weekday. It’s always overflowing with people.

Re the bananas – it was at night time. Probably 8.30pm so I presume the fruit shop would have been closed.

Ghettosmurf87 9:58 am 24 Feb 15

If waiting 10 minutes is an issue, don’t go when Woolies Dickson is likely to be at its busiest, i.e after work from 5-7pm or midday-mid afternoon (12-3) on weekends when people are doing their weekly shop. It’s really not that hard.

I regularly drop past Dickson Woolies after footy training, so after 7:30 or 8 pm and can always get a park in the first row (closest to the library) and don’t have to wait longer than 5min in the line, though it’s usually only a minute or two.

If I have to drop in at busy times then I understand that I might have to wait 10 minutes or so.

But really, in the grand scheme of things, is 10minutes that long to wait? Slow down, take a breath, think about a few other things while you wait and before you know it you’ll be out of there.

BTW, how late were you getting those bananas? Because the fruit shop just past the chemist would probably have had no line if it was open. The old guy that runs it is a legend in my books. I came in one day looking for radishes because woolies didn’t have any. There were none on the stands, but he went out the back and got me the last bunch. Didn’t cost much at all either. Saved my dinner menu did he!

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site