The pain of woolworths dickson – and the need for a market-driven solution

Octogen 6 June 2008 50

From reading some of the posts on here previously, it appears that many other people are suffering from the appallingly long lines at woolworth’s dickson. Rather than just having a bit of a whine about it on the forum and then ending up doing nothing about it, I’d really like to see some competition in the area – even if it’s a coles! I think it would encourage woolies to get off their arse and actually put some staff on to serve the hoardes (and potentially drive down prices too)! It’s really a pretty abnormal situation – reputedly the most busy supermarket in Australia, and no close-by “big hitter” competiton?

Apparently Aldi takes submissions from the community on locations for future supermarkets


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50 Responses to The pain of woolworths dickson – and the need for a market-driven solution
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bigred bigred 10:03 pm 11 Jun 08

Jenny Green – Do you turn left there?????

Nope – dine elsewhere. Do you?

ant ant 8:25 pm 11 Jun 08

No kids in the Basket’n’cash lane either! I hate the way they get into the line (this is Qbn but it sounds like Dickson), and then send their spawn out to hunt and gather, bringing back their loot. You thought you were behind someone buying a packet of cornflakes and some Whiskers. Next thing they have their whole family there with armfuls of crap. Children Obesity crap more often than not, too.

Kids can be in if they have a basket, and are paying for it themselves. With cash.

jenny green jenny green 7:19 pm 11 Jun 08

bigred said :

But hey, go around the corner some time and watch all those fools doing a right turn out of maccas against the “No right turn” sign.

Do you turn left there?????

Eirlys Eirlys 11:18 am 11 Jun 08

If anyone can find a basket in Dickson woolies sure that would work.
A month or so ago they had removed the storage unit for the baskets, they only just brought them back. And baskets are always scarcer then the lines are long.

tom-tom tom-tom 10:56 am 11 Jun 08

from experience people can fit an awful lot in their baskets and those who are not willing to jam all their shopping into one basket will just get their kids to carry a basket each

ant ant 9:37 am 11 Jun 08

I’m with you, ruhappynow, a cash-only till and NO trolleys. They could add a chicane so those people with trolleys can’t get in. Baskets only, cash only. Basket and your bag of birdseed or whatever goes under one’s arm.

ruhappynow ruhappynow 2:45 am 11 Jun 08

Vote with your feet.
Dickson is time consuming with the crowds it gets, more expensive without competition (how easily could an ALDI/COLES/FRANKLINS/MARKET justify enough business) and its an all round below average shopping experience.
Then again the City Supabarn is now without parking since that was gobbled up by Canberra Centre making it a no-go zone anytime due to the parking fees and hassle.
The few minutes in the car to somewhere like Ainslie IGA or a big shop big shop in the burbs will save you money and time. Shopping doesn’t need to be a chore.

I think every large supermarket should have ‘Cash and Dash’ checkouts where you pay cash only for what you can carry in your basket (plus a 9 pack of toilet tissues or cereal box or three litre juice etc) and its just scan and hand over the cash. You can still talk to the checkout chick so long as it doesn’t distract her and the talking ends as soon as she gives you your change.

bigred bigred 7:52 pm 08 Jun 08

sepi, I agree but it used to be better when Summernats let people bring their own beer supplies. I remeber one year some enterprising lads had a coolroom on a trailer which they filled with beer from woollies bottle shop.

sepi sepi 7:49 pm 08 Jun 08

Woolies dickson (and maccas Disckson) is actually quite a good tourist experience for visiting rellies during summernats.

There’s the Armed guards at the front of the grog shop, the endless parade of blokes in shorts with slabs of beer over their shoulders, loads of skinny women with trolleys full of sausages and bottles of coke, and some funny cars in the carpark.

It’s a good one for any rellies that accuse Canberra of being sterile.

bigred bigred 7:41 pm 08 Jun 08

Woolies Dickson is a reminder to those who are better off that there is a twilight side to Canberra. The whole concept is stuffed, from the moment you enter the carpark. And look at all the shiney 4WDs parked in the disabled spots. The shelf stackers are so arrogant they block the aisles right when customers are coming and when you ask for something diferent at the deli they tell you they are going to check never to return again. Then you have all alcos stocking up in the bottle shop.

But hey, go around the corner some time and watch all those fools doing a right turn out of maccas against the “No right turn” sign.

CanberraResident CanberraResident 9:37 am 08 Jun 08

The busiest supermarket title has been doing the rounds for years, but nobody ever bothers to check if its still true.

Dickson would have to be one of the most disgraceful Woolies I’ve ever seen. It’s small, stinky, dingy, over-stocked, and the clientele are either on drugs or drunk, or both. Even Kambah Woolies is better, and that’s saying something.

To the aislie whingers; shop somewhere else, I doubt the problem will be resolved.

nyssa nyssa 11:13 pm 07 Jun 08

hax said :

Not long ago I was waiting in line, and some lady went right off the handle at one of the older checkout girls. She burst into tears and ran off, and everyone else in the store was a little shaken up (she was VERY loud and angry about the lines!)

That’s horrible, I hope the people in line told that woman off (or at least gave her some really bad greasies!!) Sadly, it’s the people at the bottom of the pecking order who generally have to bear the brunt of customer anger and rudeness.

sepi sepi 7:51 pm 07 Jun 08

Hackett IGA is good too – although smaller than Ainslie. But you will never have trouble getting a park.

fabforty fabforty 3:06 pm 07 Jun 08

I also live close to Dickson but refuse to shop at the Woolies there. I drive to Gungahlin.

Here’s a hint, though. Go to Aldi at Gungahlin. From the same (free) carpark you also have access to cheapish meat at High Country (Aldi meat still has a way to go), an Asian grocer and a really fantastic deli/fruit shop for any herbs etc you cant get at Aldi. Job done at abut 2/3 what a trip to Woolies/Coles will set you back and you don’t have to wade through any dodgy hangers-on loitering around outside.

I agree that Ainslie IGA is pretty good but I find the parking a bit of a pain sometimes.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 1:46 pm 07 Jun 08

Ainslie IGA is a great store, but it is generally MUCH more expensive than Dickson Woolies for groceries.

I go to Dickson Woolies for my major shop every month. The key is to do one big shop a month rather than lots of short trips, and go between 9-10.30pm on a weeknight. At that time you get the added bonus of all the strange denizens of the Inner North coming out to feed…

It is a bloody awful supermarket though.

jenny green jenny green 7:45 am 07 Jun 08

Pickle said :

all these tales of unnecessary driving should attract a few obnoxious greenies to this post soon…

But just think of the savings to Australia’s mental health bill those voting with our feet are making!

I live in O’Connor and have been into Dickson Woolies once in the last 2 years. If you continue to shop there, you continue to prop up the facist regime! Don’t expect some other nice supermarket to come and bail you out. Market forces include demand as well as supply…

shauno shauno 2:40 am 07 Jun 08

Vic Bitterman said :

shauno said :

If they replaced the barcode system with RFID stickers it would work much faster you could have your entire trolly scanned in an instant without touching any of the items. We use RFID for our parts and assets now and its great items can be picked up by hand scanners or fixed ones at distance of 5m.

How does that work? What about multiple items in the trolley that are the same ie 3 bags of chips?

Not 100% sure about the details on how it would work at supermarkets. But what happens is when an RFID tag (stickers in this case) are stuck on the product they contain coded information just like normal bar codes. But its passive until the tag passes through the radio field of the scanner which then wakes the tag up (powered by the radio waves) and it transmits the information. So if you had 3 bags of chips. It would just pick up the signal 3 times for the same product.

green_frogs_go_pop green_frogs_go_pop 11:32 pm 06 Jun 08

bd84 said :

I’m surprised anyone would have problems at woolies queanbeyan, there’s an area office above the store.

haha, no, not really.

i’ve been their twice for work, and the lines were pretty shit at the checkouts.

Oh fuck. I think i’ve said too much. I may or may not work for woolies. (Not dickson! OH GOOD GOD NO!)

But really, dont take it out on the kid serving you..yeesh, does it look like they own the store or something? Do they personally make the rosters, and decide that x amount of people are working then? No. Take it up with the manager or something, some non-rush time..duh.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:29 pm 06 Jun 08

Pickle said:

Pickle said :

all these tales of unnecessary driving should attract a few obnoxious greenies to this post soon…

They’re too busy waiting in line at Dickson Woolies.

ant ant 9:48 pm 06 Jun 08

Many of the checkout people are also filling shelves. Some supermarkets have a higher tolerance for lines than others ie they’ll let staff continue to beautify the tim tam display while the lines are 8 deep. Good supermarkets have them scuttle back to the checkouts when there’s 3 people waiting. And don’t have them close just because there’s no one in line.

My complaints are always by mail or email, I’d never have a go at the kid on the checkout!

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