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NSW Retail Reopening “Great Test-Case For Victoria”

As New South Wales retail reopens this week, the Australian Retailers Association is viewing it as a sign of how a wider reopening will fare. And according to the union body, things are looking pretty good.

“It’s taken enormous effort on the part of NSW government and businesses to reach today’s milestone,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said yesterday afternoon. “We can be proud of the results. Today’s outcome is a great test-case for Victoria and we can feel confidently optimistic of a positive experience when retail reopens there.”

Zahra also pointed out the importance of this period for our economy.

“Every dollar spent in this lead-up to the all-important Christmas trading period works twice as hard for retailers as it’s the most critical and profitable trading period of the year for many,” he explained.

“We know there is a lot of suppressed shopping demand and the next few weeks will be amongst the most important for many small businesses in particular, who are fighting for survival after the lengthy 100-day lockdown.”

The “elevated levels of customer aggression” regarding vaccine requirements is coming from a “small but vocal group”, according to Zahra.

“We are optimistic these individuals will continue to behave respectfully and comply with the law. Enforcement is a matter for the authorities, including police. Retail teams should be trained in who and when to contact authorities for support,” said Zahra.

“Checking vaccination status is a new safety protocol and like QR codes it will take a little time for customers to adjust. Naturally, this will be an even smoother experience when the NSW COVID Safe app is integrated,” he said.

“Retailers need to ensure they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure compliance and this includes things such as having clear signage at the entrance points and through the store, and training staff in how to check vaccination status.”

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