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BREAKING NEWS: Call To Shut All None Essential Retail Stores & Shopping Centres Immediately

State and Federal Government Ministers are facing a major dilemma, shutting down all retail shops which will see thousands hit the unemployed queues, or prolonging the Coronavirus with a drip feed approach.

The Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) made up of leading chief executives has made an unprecedented public call on the federal and state governments today to urgently implement a lockdown of all retail while banning movements to stop the progression of the coronavirus.

This if implemented could have a major impact on the likes of JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman Wesfarmers with their Officeworks, David Jones and Myer who are already suffering, Bunnings and Big W stores as well as the likes of Bing Lee and Betta Electrical stores.

It will also hit the suppliers to these stores with only those who have strong balance sheets surviving. Many stores such as the Target chain could not reopen and disappear altogether from the retail landscape claim analysts.

YPO Melbourne Gold member David Smorgon told the Australian newspaper, that Federal and State Ministers now had a choice between a short, sharp, highly effective lockdown or a very extended community driven and mostly ineffective rolling lockdown.

Hundreds of Australian YPO members dialled into a conference call on Sunday evening convened by APN Property Group CEO Tim Slattery that hosted American pandemics expert Yaneer Bar-Yam, a physicist and specialist in complex systems trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Smorgon said “It is a choice between sharp but manageable economic pain and a wrecking ball going through our country, from both an economic and health perspective. Both businesses and government have a responsibility to ensure that the right decisions are made in the best interests of Australia, and made now,’’ he said.

The YPO network includes chapters in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and is part of a global leadership community of more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries.

Another Melbourne member, Swisse Vitamins founder Radek Sali, said Australia needed to take the lead of China, South Korea and Singapore that had successfully managed the pandemic.

“If the advice is that a much tighter lock down sooner will see us come out of this faster, there is no question we should be doing this. The current half measures and uncertainty are as bad for business as the full measures, so what are we waiting for?” said Mr Sali, who now has his own family office known as Light Warrior.

Mr Bar-Yam said it was clear that Australia needed an immediate four-to-six week hard and fully enforced lockdown to avoid catastrophic public health outcomes and severe economic consequences.

YPO Melbourne chair and founder James Cotton said the group was taking a rare public position on the coronavirus crisis to urge all state and federal governments to act in accordance with the guidelines developed by Yaneer Bar-Yam.

“A huge proportion of restaurants, cafes, pubs, restaurants and retailers will go bankrupt under the current plan of a six-month shut down. A complete lockdown for four to six weeks would avoid this, and have a far better health outcome too,’’ he said.

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