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Woolworths provides update on the impact of COVID-19 restrictions

The Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW) share price was a strong performer on Tuesday.

The conglomerate’s shares charged over 2% higher to finish the day at $39.99.

Why did the Woolworths share price push higher?

Investors appear to have been buying Woolworths shares on Tuesday after the Victorian Government announced which businesses will be forced to close and which may stay open following the stage four lockdowns in metropolitan Melbourne.

As with rival Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES), Woolworths will not be disrupted as much as some retailers.

What will happen to Woolworths’ Victorian stores?

This afternoon the company revealed how the lockdown will impact its businesses. According to the release, all its 22 BIG W stores in metropolitan Melbourne will be closed for six weeks from tomorrow under stage four restrictions.

Nine BIG W stores in regional Victoria will remain open for customers under Stage Three restrictions, with the remaining 148 BIG W stores outside Victoria continuing to trade as normal.

While BIG W’s doors may be closing in Melbourne, that won’t mean shoppers can’t still purchase goods. BIG W will provide contactless in-store pick up services from all stores and drive up services in 15 of the 22 impacted stores. It will also continue to offer contactless home delivery to all Victorians.

The company’s ALH Hotels business had already closed 77 of its 80 venues in Victoria during the stage three restrictions. The remaining venues will close their doors tomorrow, with those outside Victoria continuing under applicable state regulations.

Woolworths supermarkets will remain open largely as normal during stage four. So there’s certainly no need to go out and panic buy items such as toilet roll.

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci, commented: “These are challenging times in Victoria and I can only imagine the stress and anxiety being felt by the entire community. We are focused on doing everything we can to minimise the impact on our team members, including temporary opportunities to support other businesses in the Woolworths Group where possible.”

“We remain committed to doing whatever it takes to help keep our team and customers safe in Victoria and right across Australia,” he concluded.

Woolworths intends to provide a further update with its FY 2020 results on 27 August.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited and Woolworths Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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