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Melbourne retail to reopen this Friday

A positive move is coming to Melbourne retailers this week: an updated Victorian roadmap will now allow ‘non-essential’ retail to reopen from 6pm this upcoming Friday for fully vaccinated customers.

This will give retailers a greater chance to make up sale lost throughout the state’s recent lockdown, argued ARA boss Paul Zahra, and allows fashion retailers to get more time to trade ahead of the upcoming Melbourne Cup.

“Every day counts for retail as we enter the most important trading period of the year – particularly for small businesses on the brink of collapse,” said Zahra.

“Victorian retailers were losing $55.2 million a day in retail trade as a result of the most recent lockdown, [and since] most discretionary retailers make up to two thirds of their annual profits during the all-important Christmas trading period […] we need to ensure they can open and trade at their full potential.”

Victoria’s sales have lagged behind in CommSec’s State of the State report, landing at fifth place.

Retail spending in the last quarter rose to $84 billion across the country, with sales in Tasmania growing the fastest of all states.

Spending in Tasmania grew 18.1 per cent on the decade average, hitting $1.8 billion, while New South Wales brought in $27.6 billion – but only achieved a growth rate of 14.2 per cent.

“Across the country retail spending remains strong, supported by ongoing fiscal and monetary stimulus, record wealth and re-direction of money from blocked foreign travel,” CommSec’s report reads.

It’s the seventh quarter in a row that Tasmania has been named the country’s ‘best performing economy’, leading on four out of the eight indicators measured.

And, identifying the economy to challenge Tasmania for top position is not easy.

“Much will depend on vaccination rates, and reopening of state and foreign borders. But stimulus applied by state and territory governments will be important,” said CommSec chief economist Craig James.

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