WITH the Victorian retail industry contributing $81.5 billion to the national economy, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has urged the Victorian Government to shift the Victorian AFL Grand Final public holiday from Friday to Monday, to improve productivity and stimulate local businesses.
Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, said the Friday before the AFL Grand Final public holiday placed an unnecessary burden on retailers.
“Victorian retailers will really feel the pinch this Friday before the AFL Grand Final, as Fridays are one of the busiest trading days of the week,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retailers are constantly battling low sales growth coupled with increased operating costs, so imposing the public holiday on Friday significantly impacts retailers in Victoria.”
With the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) predicting a loss of $1 billion to industry, the ARA believe the Victorian economy will certainly suffer this Friday.
“The additional public holiday on Friday 28 September will see many retailers choosing to close their doors rather than pay incredibly high penalty rates of up to 150 percent,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“With this public holiday only enforced in Victoria, the lack of trade, foot-traffic and productivity significantly affects the state’s economy.”
The AFL Grand Final public holiday was first introduced in 2015 and has since cost Victorian retailers a valuable day of business, as Victorian consumers usually attend the Grand Final Parade.
“We continually receive feedback from members who do not support this public holiday because they end up paying the price,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retailers who choose to open their doors will incur additional labor costs without seeing a boost in trade.”
The ARA will continue to challenge the Victorian Government on AFL Grand Final Day, urging them to move the Labour Day public holiday in March to the Monday after the Grand Final. This will align with other states, increasing productivity, stimulating trade and growing the Australian economy.
About the Australian Retailers Association:
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.