The move to reopen stores is gaining momentum as Myer joins the list of retailers reopening the bricks-and-mortar stores that were closed during the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, when Australians across the country were told to stay home except for essential reasons like buying food.
The department store retailer said on Wednesday that it would trial the reopening of five locations in Queensland, where residents are now allowed to leave home for recreational purposes, such as shopping for non-essential items. It later added two stores in New South Wales to that list.
The Myer stores in Chermside, Carindale, North Lakes, Townsville and Toowoomba (QLD) will reopen from Friday, May 8, and the stores in Bankstown and Liverpool (NSW) will reopen from Saturday, May 9, with new safety measures to protect customers and staff.
The stores will be cleaned more frequently and feature signage about maintaining 1.5 metre social distancing, and sneeze guards will be progressively rolled out across the stores.
Hand sanitiser will be available for customers and a range of protective items, including sanitiser, face masks and gloves, will be available for staff, and staff will be informed about social distancing and hygiene.
The stores will also only accept contactless payments, and some services that require close contact, such as beauty appointments, intimate apparel fittings, suit fittings, shoe fittings and change rooms, will remain suspended.
“Our priority continues to be the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members and to assist and support governments in limiting the spread of COVID-19,” a Myer spokesperson said on Wednesday.
While stores in other states remain closed, Myer said it is closely monitoring the latest advice from the National Cabinet, with a view to progressively reopening remaining stores.
When it does reopen, Myer said it will do so on a staged basis, taking into account government measures and conditions across the different states, particularly in relation to the easing of stay at home measures.
The department store has continued to trade online through the store closures and is now offering click and collect at selected stores.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional reopening information provided by Myer.