Retailers across New South Wales are today celebrating the reopening of retail business, in what many are calling 'Freedom Day.'
Following 106 days of lockdown, retailers, gyms and hospitality venues across NSW have today reopened to fully-vaccinated customers and the five kilometre travel restriction has been lifted.
Fashion retailers are rejoicing at the opportunity to be open, after the ABS figures for August revealed that the clothing, footwear and accessories sector suffered a $304.4 million decline (15.7%) in the month, driven by lockdowns.
Hype DC and Subtype GM Liam Robson encouraged customers to support businesses that have been closed during lockdowns.
"It’s rare you open 31 stores in one day!
"Well for my teams at Hype DC and Subtype Store in NSW that’s today.
"Like many retailers across the country our doors have been shut longer than they have been open.
"If you're in Sydney and it’s safe to do so, get out there and support Australian business - if it’s retail or hospitality or any industry that has suffered during these challenging times.
"Let’s support each other and be kind to those on the front line as they aim to make your experience memorable wherever you shop," he posted to LinkedIn.
Myer chief customer officer Geoff Ikin added that the retailer is expecting customers to come out and enjoy the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.
"After what has been a pretty tough few months, I think customers will be embracing in-store shopping like never before.
"Nothing quite beats a little retail therapy.
"Our Team Members at Myer are excited to be back at work, and ready and waiting to welcome customers instore, entry will look a little different with the new mandated health and safety measures put in place, but our five star customer service will be the same.
"We can’t wait to welcome our customers back into stores.
"In doing so, we will be adhering to the Government’s health orders to ensure the safest shopping experience for our customers and team members, which are in addition to the stringent measures we already had in place to protect our customers in store," he said.
Meanwhile, Peter Alexander regional manager Olivia Barden thanked the patience and hard work of her team during this time.
"Today we open our pink doors again for the first time in 4 months.
"Our team never ceases to amaze me with their dedication and passion for our brand and while I have already expressed my gratitude to my store leaders over the phone, via text, smoke signal and carrier pigeon (for their seriously hard work to get our stores ready) I find that a little liquid-thanks never goes astray," she said.
Additionally, yd. Australia welcomed back its NSW team.
"Welcome back NSW!
"To the entire team who have worked behind the scenes in the lead up to this day, good luck for the first day back!
"Stay safe and stay stylish," the business posted to LinkedIn.
Kmart Australia took the time to welcome customers back and remind them of COVID-safe practices.
"New South Wales, we’ve missed you, but today we’re back!
"After more than four months in lockdown, we’re so excited to be welcoming customers back to our NSW stores, with COVID safe measures in place to keep you and our team members safe.
"As per the NSW Government requirements, customers will need to show proof that they are fully COVID-19 vaccinated, unless a medical exemption applies.
"We have COVID Marshals in store to monitor customer numbers and ensure we remain below density limits.
"Please continue to wear a face mask, check in, practice social distancing and sanitise your hands.
"When you pop in and visit us in store, we kindly ask that you follow these processes as these are designed to keep us all safe.
"We’re so happy to see you back in our stores. Welcome back and happy shopping!"