Mosaic Brands CEO Scott Evans has contended that a clear message for non-essential retailers would have been a more effective way for the New South Wales government to manage retailers during the lockdown. 

The Group, which houses nine brands including Rivers, Noni B and Millers, has closed approximately 220 NSW stores during this lockdown. 

Speaking to Ragtrader, Evans said the conflicting messages from the government makes it confusing for both customers and businesses. 

"It's not feasible for anybody who has a retail outlet to remain open when the customers are told, 'if you leave your house, assume you've got COVID.'

"And secondly, 'if you do go to the shops you can't browse.' 

"I don't understand why retail's open it makes no sense," he said. 

Evans added that the lack of clarity on closing or not has also made negotiations with landlords more complex. 

"The discussion between the retailer and each landlord is, 'what happens now?'

"You've got this downtime, you've got no sales coming in, so retailers are saying, 'I can't pay rent or I don't want to pay rent' and the landlord wants you to pay rent.

"It's not fair on the retailer and it's certainly not fair on the landlord, because each side is doing the right thing for them," he said. 

The key to avoiding lockdowns in the future is to ensure that as many Australians as possible get vaccinated, Evans said. 

"The moral of the story is we've all got to get vaccinated really quickly, this thing is very serious.

"We've done exceptionally well in Australia, COVID has been managed exceptionally well, the only negative has been the rollout of the vaccine. 

"But if we can all get vaccinated this thing goes away or becomes a common cold - to the greatest extent it disappears. 

"But the longer we take to do that, the more that everyone will be suffering from these kinds of instances (lockdowns), whether that's mentally or whether that's financially - we've just got to get vaccinated," he said. 

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