Disappointment and concern over Vic retail reopening plan

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is highly disappointed after the Victorian government failed to confirm October 19th as the reopening date for retail businesses that have been shut for 66 days straight as part of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said high expectations were set for the reopening date by recently announcing a new date of Oct 19 ahead of the original Oct 26th date, but today’s update from the Victorian Premier has dashed all hopes for that timing.

“This is a serious blow to Victoria retailers who were led to believe they could open next week and get ready for the Christmas rush.

“Beyond the disappointment, we are also gravely concerned by the fact we have not seen any specific plan that will guide retailers through the restart process. Most retail workers have face-to-face interactions with their customers, so it is imperative that they have a full understanding of any additional Covid protocols that maybe currently being contemplated. And with Christmas ten weeks away, additional time and planning is also necessary to physically prepare the stores for the critically important holiday trading period.

“The Victorian government has drawn up restart guidelines for different sectors of the economy like hospitality and tourism but has only just begun to think about a retail restart plan. This lack of forethought could result in hazardous conditions when the time does come to reopen the retail industry in Victoria.

ENDS…for more details: ARA Media Team (m) 0431 045 373 (e) media@retail.org.au About us: founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $340bn sector employing more than 1.2m 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.

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