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Gladys Won’t Close Department Stores In Sydney

The NSW Government has today urged consumers to shop online for “appliances, fridges and electric blankets.”

This comes as the state-wide case load hits 44, and Sydneysiders were told to brace for another week of lockdown, on top of the three already announced.

Despite all this, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian avoided the obvious question: why are non-essential retail stores still allowed to be open?

While she pushed for people to shop online wherever possible, she dismissed closing retail stores when asked by a journalist whether this would be the most sensible option.

“What we need is for everybody to follow the rules that are in place,” she said. “The biggest problem we have is lack of compliance.

“I don’t know how much clearer we can be, do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to.”

Berejiklian also blamed the NSW Government’s failure to control this outbreak on the fact that only 9 per cent of NSW residents are currently vaccinated.

Already, the three-week lockdown is poised to cost NSW retailers around $3 billion in lost revenue.

“This lockdown is now set to cost around $3 billion in lost retail trade, which is just not sustainable without adequate support measures in place for businesses and their staff,” Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailer Association said earlier this week.

“We have grave concerns for smaller retailers in the CBD, who were already crippled by the ongoing COVID impacts before this latest outbreak, with low office populations and a lack of tourists contributing to sluggish trade throughout the pandemic.”

Today, Zahara issued a further statement, ensuring shoppers that retail is safe, while acknowledging the mixed messaging by the government.

“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,” Mr Zahra said.

“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.

“Retailers have worked incredibly hard and spared no expense to ensure their stores are Covid-safe, often going above and beyond safety requirements. Consumers can shop in stores with confidence knowing their health and safety is paramount.”


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