Sydney lockdown

The one week extension of lockdown restrictions across large parts of New South Wales will cost affected retailers a further one billion dollars in combined sales according to the National Retail Association (NRA).

Today it was revealed that lockdown in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour will be extended until 11.59pm Friday July 16.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that while the New South Wales Government is right to prioritise the safety of the public, the immense costs of lockdowns cannot be ignored.

“Although the extension of the lockdown across much of New South Wales is a hammer blow to retailers, we are heartened to hear the Premier announce that she expects this to be the final lockdown for the state,” Ms Lamb said.

“Prioritising the health and wellbeing of the public is rightly a priority, but make no mistake this lockdown extension will hurt. The NRA forecasts a further one billion dollars in lost sales for retailers in impacted areas.

“Greater Sydney is also the biggest economic region in the country, so there will be a ripple effect across the broader economy.”

Ms Lamb said that retailers were glad to see National Cabinet announce last Friday a four-phase plan out of the pandemic, but called on state and federal leaders to formulate details on ending lockdowns altogether.

“Retailers welcomed the four-phase plan announced by National Cabinet last week, but now we ask state and federal governments to finalise the necessary details to provide business confidence,” Ms Lamb said.

“Business support packages are great, but they’re not a solution to ongoing lockdowns. What we need is National Cabinet to make a firm commitment on a vaccination threshold that eliminates the need for lockdowns once and for all.

ABS figures released just this week for May showed solid growth for retail. But if we can permanently end lockdowns it would provide a giant boost in business and consumer confidence that safeguard jobs.”