Retailers across the country are preparing to open their doors for lucrative Mother’s Day bargains as dwindling numbers of COVID-19 cases encourage Aussies to head to the shops.
New data from the Commonwealth Bank shows that spending momentum has improved over the last two weeks after it hit a near record-low.
READ MORE: BIG W throws open doors to Thursday late-night shopping
Bottle shops too are experiencing a lift in sales, up 25 per cent compared to last year but pubs and hotels are languishing, experiencing a 75 per cent drop in card spending.
Gareth Aird, Head of Australian Economics at CBA, said the data shows early signs that Australians are feeling more confident in leaving the house and opening their wallets.
“Our latest data comes before any easing of restrictions, so it may be that households are feeling more confident to spend at businesses that have not had to shut their doors,” said Mr Aird.
“It also looks like households have been more eager to get online, click the mouse and fill up the virtual shopping basket.”
As part of coronavirus restrictions, no retail stores were forced to close their doors – but heavy government messaging about shopping for basics and tough floor space distancing requirements meant it was not profitable for many retailers to stay open.
AUSSIE RETAILERS THAT ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Fast fashion retailer Cotton On has started reopening selected stores across the Cotton On Group, a full list of which can be found here.
“We’ve started to reopen selected stores across the Cotton On Group,” the retailer told customers.
“As always, our team and customers are our top priority, so we’re taking care to ensure the highest standards of health and safety across all our stores.”
General retailer BIG W has kept its doors open during the pandemic, but for the first time tonight it will remain open until 9PM for Thursday late-night trading.
It’s the first time in more than six weeks that trading hours have been extended, which previously were brought down to 9am-6pm during the pandemic.
“We’re able to give our customers more flexibility to shop when it’s convenient for them but also more importantly make social distancing will be even easier to maintain,” BIG W’s Commercial General Manager Teresa Rando told 9News.com.au.
KATHMANDU AND RIPCURL
Outdoor wear retailer Kathmandu – who also owns surf chain Rip Curl – has announced it has reopened stores in NSW and Queensland on a trial basis.
The rest of the country is set to follow with new rules such as hand sanitiser and face masks made available, contactless customer service and payment and customer limits.
Kathmandu said online sales jumped 2.5 to 3 times in April compared with a year earlier, with the highest growth rates in its main Australian market.
Women’s fashion retailer Glassons has opened a number of stores including Garden City, Erina, Castle Towers, Robina, Warringah, Bondi, Eastgardens and Chapel Street.
“Don’t forget, if your local isn’t open just yet we have Click & Collect and Return Dropboxes available at select stores,” the retailer told customers.
All Rebel stores are open, however from Sunday May 3 new hours are in effect. Every store will now be open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Sunday.
“We are continuing to take a range of precautionary measures across our stores,” the retailer told customers.
“We are also adhering to the advice and recommendations of the Australian Government, all State and Territory Governments, local health authorities and the World Health Organisation, and will continue to actively review and respond as necessary.”
Tech giant Apple will swing open the doors of its stores this Thursday May 7 at 10am after CEO Tim Cook foreshadowed the move in an investor briefing.
Stores will temperature check customers before entering and employ social distancing measures.
A spokesperson for Apple Australia told 9News: “We’re excited to begin welcoming visitors back to our Australia stores later this week. We’ve missed our customers and look forward to offering our support.”
Myer stores will remain closed until at least Monday next week, the retailer told shareholders in a briefing last week.
Select stores have been operating a click-and-collect service but none have swung the doors open for regular shopping.
“Myer has taken the decision to extend the period of temporary closure of all physical stores until at least May 11, 2020,” the retailer told shareholders.
“Myer will closely monitor government measures and advice over the coming weeks, with a view to reopening stores as soon as possible.”
The vast majority of Athlete’s Foot stores are now open. You can find an active list of which stores are open and which are closed in your state here.
PREMIER INVESTMENTS – SMIGGLE, PETER ALEXANDER, PORTMANS, JUST JEANS
It’s a similar story for retail consortium Premier Investments who owns a number of brands including pyjama house Peter Alexander and stationary supplier Smiggle.
“Premier has no choice but to continue the temporary closure of our retail stores in Australia,” the group told shareholders.
“Accordingly, our retail stores will remain closed until at least May 11, 2020.”
The vast majority of David Jones stores remain open as they have done so during the pandemic.
“We have two smaller stores, Barangaroo, Sydney and James Street, Brisbane, where it is not practical to comply with the social distancing protocols as mandated by the government, so we have taken the decision to close these stores for a period of at least four weeks,” David Jones said in a statement.
“All our other Australian stores remain open at this time, but please ensure you’re up to date with our latest trading hours before your next visit.”
Linen giant Adairs will open its larger stores in Queensland this Thursday May 7, with the rest of its portfolio of approximately 160 stores to open in due course.
Adairs CEO Mark Ronan has been providing continual updates to customers, including extending the returns period to help with the move towards online shopping.
“We continue to remain open online to inspire you and provide you with the comforts of home,” said Mr Ronan.
“To offer you some peace of mind we are extending our standard free returns period. For Linen Lovers members, we have extended the returns period to 90 days, and 60 days for all other customers.”
The majority of all EB Games stores are open, including those in Victoria.
You can see a full list of open stores, and search via your postcode, here.
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