But few of us realise just how much work goes into keeping shoppers safe during the pandemic.
While shoppers will likely have seen workers cleaning trolleys and baskets, it turns out there are plenty of hidden details that go into a typical store clean.
In fact, Woolworths has implemented a new COVID-19 cleaning regime in light of the outbreak, significantly increasing the frequency and focus of cleaning in its stores since early March.
That response has almost doubled the grocery giant’s regular cleaning expenditure – and it has delivered a multimillion-dollar benefit to the company’s network of cleaners.
On top of regular storewide cleaning, Woolies’ COVID-19 cleaning regime includes disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces on a rolling basis, so that each area is cleaned multiple times a day - a detail most customers would have no idea about.
Those specific areas now being targeted include handles throughout the store including in the fridge and bakery areas, benchtops such as deli counters, touch screens, eftpos keypads and coin dispensers, trolley handles and baby capsules, baskets and “back of house” areas including team lunch rooms, amenities and all door handles.
It has been a huge win for Woolworths’ cleaning contractor XL Retail Services, with the company’s revenue from the supermarket retailer doubling.
Cleaner Prashanth Desham told news.com.au while the cleaning standard had always been high, the new regime really upped the ante.
“After COVID-19, we do more thorough and detailed cleaning of major areas where customers and team members come together and areas they touch more frequently,” he explained.
“We use hospital grade chemicals, and disinfectant (on) all areas in our shifts regularly.
“A lot of customers have come up to me to say thanks for the support and that they feel more comfortable and safe. When they see what I’m doing and that areas are safe to touch, it gives them peace of mind.”
For Mr Desham, the increased focus on in-store hygiene had allowed him to increase his working hours which helps him support his family, and he said he enjoyed being part of the frontline fight against the coronavirus.
It was a sentiment echoed by XL Retail National Operation Manager Nigel Bull, who said the increased workload was helping the small company support its team.
“The additional work represents a significant uplift in demand for our business, and in turn means we can provide greater certainty, security and opportunity to all our team members in the XL Retail network during this difficult period,” he said.
Earlier this month, Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the company had experienced a spike in sales growth as a result of the pandemic alongside increased costs associated with security, recruitment, social distancing and hygiene during the outbreak.
But Trent Mason, Woolworths General Manager of Facilities Management, said the added costs were a vital investment.
“The cleaning expenditure across our supermarkets has almost doubled, but we see it as a multimillion-dollar investment in team and customer safety, at a time when it’s more important than ever,” he said.
“We’re pleased our network of trusted cleaning partners and their employees have benefited from this enhanced focus on hygiene.
“We’re grateful for the important work they do in our stores.”
Woolworths has also implemented a range of social distancing measures in store to help protect customers and team members.