Consumers in Greater Sydney are being encouraged to “shop with purpose and pursue available options online” following the new restrictions that were announced yesterday (Friday) by the NSW Government.
The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO, Paul Zahra, said retail remains open for the goods and services people need, but consumers should be mindful of the new restrictions that are in place.
“We appreciate there’s a fair bit of confusion around the NSW Government’s health advice on essential shopping, given there has been no directive on stores having to close,” Zahra said.
No browsing or socialising, but retail remains open
“The facts are that retail can still open and people can go to stores for the goods and services they need. But if you do need to go to the shops, get in and get out without delay – this is not a time for browsing or socialising.
“Most retailers have a digital option, so if there are things you would normally buy in stores, consider click-and-collect, shop online and check out the delivery options that are available. Every dollar you spend keeps someone in a job – it doesn’t matter if that purchase is made in a store or over the internet.”
Zahra said retailers had worked incredibly hard and spared no expense to ensure their stores are Covid-safe, often going above and beyond safety requirements. He added that consumers could “shop in stores with confidence knowing their health and safety is paramount”.
“There’s no doubt this is a devastating time for retailers in Greater Sydney, and for small businesses in particular. The cost of this lockdown is growing by the day, and sadly many will not survive.
Retailers stand ready to support vaccine take-up rates
“This once again highlights how important Australia’s vaccination program is to our future prosperity. It’s our ticket to freedom and retailers stand ready to support take-up rates in any way they can.”
In an updated statement released on Friday, the State Government announced that browsing in shops is prohibited, plus only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping.
On Wednesday, the ARA called for an expansion of business support measures and estimated that the decision to extend Sydney’s lockdown for another week would collectively cost retailers around $3-billion.
The organisation said it had grave concerns for smaller retailers in the CBD, who were already crippled by the ongoing Covid impacts before this latest outbreak. These impacts included low office populations and a lack of tourists contributing to sluggish trade throughout the pandemic.