The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is relieved that retail in Victoria, will finally be open for business on Wednesday 28th October, with retail staff being able to immediately return to work to prepare their stores for Christmas trading.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said “it’s been a long haul for Victorians and businesses and particularly hard on SMB retailers. The significant delays and setbacks, along with mounting financial concerns, have had a heavy impact on the mental health and wellbeing of this hardworking community. But this long-awaited opening means that a Covid-safe normalcy can finally begin to emerge in Victoria.
“We are pleased at this stage that there are no further retail restrictions than those which have already been communicated, most which have proven to keep shopping a safe experience. This is a point we advocated strongly for, given the exemplary safety performance of retailers throughout the pandemic.
“The flow on effects from Victorian retail reopening will be felt around the country, allowing national retailers to resume normal operations during the all-important Christmas trading period.”
Mr Zahra added, “Victoria plays such a vital role in the national retail industry. It is the heart of the distribution and warehousing and it makes up a quarter of national retail sales. It’s not Christmas without Victoria – we are elated that Christmas is finally on- in every state and territory, now that Victoria will finally be open for the holiday shopping season.”
Mr Zahra said the ARA will continue to focus its efforts on helping retailers shift out of survival into retail transformation and recovery and commended the important work that City of Melbourne has undertaken around CBD transformation.
“We look forward to the borders finally coming down and will continue our advocacy for ongoing support for SMB retailers as they build towards recovery,” he said.