Billionaire Solomon Lew demands vaccine checks at shopping centres
Billionaire businessman Solomon Lew has set up a potential showdown with Australia’s leading shopping malls before the expected Christmas consumer rush, calling for all shoppers to be required to undergo vaccine and temperature checks “at the point of access” before entering a centre.
With major chains like Just Jeans, Dotti and Portman’s under the umbrella of his Premier Investments, Lew isn’t only warning the malls they need to listen to the businesses that provide their capital, he’s calling for the government to get involved.
All this, of course, comes at a time when the country is preparing to open back up and ease COVID lockdown restrictions.
“It is really for government to get together with the mall owners and say, ‘Listen here, fellas. This is how it is going to work. People have to be vaccinated and people have to be temperature checked.”
Lew believes this is the centres’ responsibility, not individual stores. “Once they are in the mall and they are checked at the point of entry then there is no issue for stores as such.”
He adds that it is the shopping centre owners’ “absolute responsibility” for the safety of all concerned.
“I’m not sure if I would go into a food court without knowing if everybody there [is checked] so that I’m in a safe place,” he says.
Lew’s Premier Investments posted record earnings for the year despite the pandemic, doubling their profits for fiscal 2021.
Meanwhile, an average of 176 stores went into temporary closure each week, with 50,581 trading days lost in the same period.