Gucci, Louis Vuitton and H&M stores open during Sydney Covid lockdown

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Although Greater Sydney is entering its third week of lockdown and Victoria is only on its first day, it is much clearer what constitutes an essential service in the southernmost state.

Authorities in New South Wales insist Sydney is in a ‘hard lockdown’, but non-essential stores remain open, raising eyebrows.

Designer fashion brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton and even lingerie stores like Honey Birdette have opened amid home orders and fear Sydney’s five-week lockdown will be extended.

Meanwhile, Victoria closed all outlets as she tried to eradicate the virus in just five days.

NSW Health has not released a list of what is considered an “essential” store.

It only stipulated what cannot open – catering establishments can only open for take out, while entertainment facilities like theaters, entertainment centers, indoor recreation facilities, places of worship and beauty services must close.

A number of stores still open have sparked outrage online.

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Bunnings, Officeworks, Kmart, Ikea, Big W, Cotton On, Typo, Factorie, Dr Martens, EB Games, Honey Birdette, General Pants Co, Gucci, H&M, Hype DC, JB Hi-Fi, JD, Louis Vuitton, Panerai, Platypus, Skechers, Supre, Vans, David Jones, Toymate, Supercheap Auto, the Reject Shop and Bally are among the stores that news.com.au reports are still open.

Some have cut trading hours while others have closed some of their stores, but not all.

Supercheap Auto has said it keeps all of its stores open so it is “ready to go” once the restrictions are lifted.

“Anyone can argue that it is essential or not; we think our statement is compelling, ”Super Retail chief executive Anthony Heraghty told the Australian Financial Review on Thursday.

“I never graduated from medical school so I’m more than happy to run with the referee’s call (ie NSW Health) and diligently execute that call.”

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Shopping centers also remain open, but with social distancing and mask-wearing rules in place.

Last Friday, the NSW government added a new rule that “browsing in stores is prohibited”.

However, it is difficult to visit these stores without browsing to some extent.

During the daily coronavirus press conference on Friday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian dodged questions about the forced retail shutdown.

“As I said, we have to make sure that whatever decisions we make will have the desired effect of reducing these numbers,” she told reporters.

“That’s why we need to focus on data. What science is telling us and what health experts are telling us is creating these additional cases of transmission. And that extra number of contagious people in the community is what we need to focus on. “

NSW recorded an additional 97 daily cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in that cluster to 1,026.

People on social media were annoyed by the loose rules.

In a now-viral clip that has been viewed 350,000 times, TikTok user Livs1982 shared a video of herself walking through Westpoint Mall in Blacktown where everything was still very open.

“There are a lot of stores open and to be honest I wasn’t expecting that,” she said.

“We’re supposed to be on lockdown. “

On Twitter, Internet users also expressed their anger.

“We must force the closure of non-essential stores. Stores like David Jones, Myer, and any other designer store. Unnecessary risk, ”one person said on Twitter.

“Every day the Prime Minister is asked about the closure of non-essential stores / businesses. Every day she doesn’t answer the question, choosing instead to deliberately obscure and warp that the residents of NSW are “doing the right thing.” It is excruciating to watch. Answer the question !!! ”another tweeted.

Modeling from the University of Sydney released on Thursday shows that if 80% of Sydney residents are on social distancing measures, it would take a month for cases to drop below 10.

Sydney would be stuck until mid-August, according to the report, in the best-case scenario, which is two more weeks than what is already mandatory.

However, if compliance were only 10% lower, at 70%, the Sydney lockdown would last another two months before it could be reverted to some semblance of control.

During last year’s nationwide lockdown in April, shopping malls and retail stores had to close.

In Victoria’s current lockdown, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, bottle shops, banks, courts, pharmacies, gas stations, mechanics, daycares and schools have been named essential services.

All retailers are closed.

Some retail bosses took matters into their own hands and closed stores regardless, regardless of government advice.

Women’s fashion label Cue decided to shut down “immediately” after the lockdown was announced on June 26.

Cue CEO Justin Levis previously told news.com.au “that it is irresponsible to stay open” and that “it would be morally wrong.”

“When I heard that the initial lockdown was going into effect, I thought I had to close my stores. I am not an essential service, ”he explained.

He said even if he stayed open his stores would bleed money, with sales down 75% – which is why he’s baffled some retailers are so determined to keep operating.

With or without retail stores open, it is estimated that the NSW economy will lose $ 1 billion for each week of lockdown.

Continue the conversation | alex.turner-cohen@news.com.au | @AlexTurnerCohen


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