The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, today congratulated state governments in NSW and Victoria for following the lead of the Queensland government in lifting local government curfews which have hindered efforts to restock supermarket shelves.
Speaking after the announcements, Mr Zimmerman said the changes would enable supermarket loading docks to operate for expanded hours as necessary, allowing stock to be replenished more quickly in the aftermath of sustained panic buying in recent weeks.
“These changes permit supermarket loading docks to operate for up to 24 hours per day if necessary to meet the spike in demand caused by Coronavirus,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Extended delivery times will enable stores to rectify the shortfalls caused by curfews that mean they are only able to receive a certain number of trucks at a time and at restricted times of the day. This will provide consumers with more consistent supply than has been the case,” he added.
Mr Zimmerman commended the Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian governments for acting decisively to lift curfews, and thanked councils that had worked cooperatively with government and retailers.
“It is critical that people stop unnecessary panic buying, as there is more than enough supply in distribution centres for everyone; empty supermarket shelves are a direct consequence of unnecessary and senseless panic buying, and we implore people to just stop it,” he said.
Mr Zimmerman urged other state and territory governments to follow suit, saying a consistent approach across the country was needed to manage the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and communities.
“We need governments at every level to take decisive action to strengthen supply chains and to work with retailers to contain the panic buying which has taken root across the country,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.
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About us: founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $325bn sector employing more than 1.3m people. As Australia’s premier retail body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members. To learn more, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.