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Relief For Retailers But Hard Road Ahead

Retail NZ says it’s good news that the Government is moving to allow retail stores in the Waikato to open from midnight tomorrow, and Auckland from next Tuesday, but is warning that there’s a hard road ahead for many retail businesses.

“The decision to allow retail to open comes after weeks of lockdown, but is in line with previous Government announcements. Retail NZ would like to see Auckland open earlier, but is pleased that the Government has now committed to dates for opening”, Greg Harford, Retail NZ’s Chief Executive said today. “Retailers want to do their bit to help keep people safe, while trading, and measures such as mask use, distancing, good hygiene, and encouraging vaccination uptake will help keep everyone safe,”

“The re-opening of retail will provide a lifeline for many businesses that have been struggling to stay afloat, but the road to recovery will still be long and hard. It’s important that businesses can get their doors open ahead of the busy Christmas season, but it won’t be business as usual in-store. I’m asking all customers to wear masks, be patient and understand that everyone in retail is trying their best to deliver great products and services during difficult times.

“Retail NZ thanks the Government for listening to advice that our sector can open while mitigating health risks. Our sector is keen to work with Government on these issues and we look forward to further conversations in the coming days.

“Although it’s good news that most retail can now open, there are still other businesses whose doors remain firmly shuttered, and some of the rules really don’t make sense. Physiotherapists are already open to customers, while spa and massage services must be closed, although the risk profile of these businesses is nearly identical. Retail NZ hopes that the Government will move swiftly to Step 3 of the Auckland Roadmap in two weeks, so that other businesses are also able to open, subject to safety measures.”

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