Retail struggle in January 2020

Last week Victoria entered its fourth lockdown in 14 months and at the time of writing there’s a real prospect it could extend beyond the scheduled seven days.

It’s horrible news for both retailers and the broader community across the state. To make things worse, this time around there is no JobKeeper subsidy in place to safeguard against foregone revenue. While the Victorian Government has unveiled a $250 million support package (details of which can be found here) it is still likely that more will be needed.

For instance, even prior to this latest lockdown foot traffic across the Melbourne CBD was consistently 40 per cent below pre-pandemic levels. Logic suggests that this latest lockdown is not going to see that figure improve. On top of this, it is looking increasingly likely that hard-line restrictions will remain in place beyond this Friday. With several community-acquired cases in recent days and more than 270 exposure sites, things are looking quite grim.

Which is why it’s important that both the state and federal governments seriously consider further assistance measures. JobKeeper cost the Commonwealth balance sheet a lot of money, but there’s no denying it saved thousands of businesses across the country and an infinite number of jobs. We will continue to advocate for retailers across the nation and will keep Victorian members posted on any further developments.

Also, from this point forward the NRA is going to restructure the way in which we communicate with all of you. In the digital age it’s very easy for email inboxes to overflow and for pieces of communication to fall through the cracks. As such we will be streamlining the amount of correspondence we send each of you and this will include the CEO Message.

This does not mean you will not be hearing from me regularly. Rather, it will be an approach that sees me communicate with each of you only on matters of high importance as opposed to the standard weekly message. By economising your time, it ensures that the NRR is a more efficient read each week and that all content is of high relevance to NRA members as we continue to navigate these challenging times.


All the best for the week ahead.