Wild scenes of shoppers packing retail stores for Christmas and rushing the doors to massive box sales frenzy could be over.
The purchases on Christmas and Boxing Day could be unrecognizable this year due to pandemic-related staff problems, warehouse delays and buyers that have been turned off by Covid security measures.
There is even speculation that the ongoing effects of the pandemic could cause a seismic shift from in-person shopping as millions of customers move to online shopping.
But the biggest changes could be the traditional Boxing Day sales bonanza, said Paul Zahra, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association The daily telegraph.
The purchases for Christmas and Boxing Day could be unrecognizable this year due to pandemic-related staff problems, warehouse delays and buyers that have been turned off by Covid security measures
Long queues due to limited store space and check-in procedures such as checking vaccine status and QR codes and wearing masks indoors put shoppers off
“We won’t see these pictures for some time, people will go shopping online … if you set up this Covid security it will put a lot of customers off,” said Mr. Zahra.
A âhigh volumeâ of customer traffic in stores during Christmas shopping is usually âa real plus,â he said, but not this year.
Feedback to the ARA even suggests that some stores are closing while large retailers are shrinking their retail space.
âWhen I speak to retailers, it is a common thread that they say,â I opened this location and moved all of my employees to this location … I cannot open my other locations because I simply don’t have the staff. âMr. Zahra called.
Although freedoms have returned to New South Wales and Victoria, retailers have far less capacity to cope with large crowds.
Their workforce is lower than ever, in part due to the widespread requirement that new employees be double vaccinated.
And massive global supply chain problems have resulted in product delays that threaten the ability of any retailer to stock their shelves with the most requested items.
Stores such as hairdressers, hairdressers, beauty salons, and nail salons were full.
But other outlets that sell items like clothing are struggling.
In Westfield Tuggerah on NSW’s Central Coast, some clothing stores remained closed after Freedom Day.
The Sportgirl Store at Broadway Mall in Sydney opened with several empty shelves.
The popularity of online shopping has increased during the pandemic and for many bargain hunters it is preferable to wear long lines and wearing masks in the store
Customers looking to do their Christmas shopping in-store are warned to expect delays in capacity constraints due to Covid
However, one of the biggest drivers likely to hurt Boxing Day sales is customer impatience with the many Covid restrictions remaining.
This includes long lines due to limited store space and check-in procedures such as checking vaccine status and QR codes, and wearing masks indoors.
The possible introduction of temperature controls by some retailers could also be introduced at the entrance to shopping centers.
The head of one of Australia’s largest retail groups has urged shopping center owners to take greater responsibility for coronavirus safety by introducing temperature controls.
Solomon Lew, whose company is run by Peter Alexander and Smiggle, says that not every store in malls can be expected to have staff to screen customers
Solomon Lew, whose premier investment company runs Peter Alexander and Smiggle, said he believed customers should have their temperature checked at malls’ entrances upon arrival rather than placing the load on individual stores.
How virus fears and strict Covid rules will affect the experience of buyers – and retailers – will be much clearer next month.
In recent years, Black Friday sales have kicked off the month-long Christmas shopping spree in stores. Closely followed by Cyber ââMonday on November 29th.
Nearly 14 million Australians – 71 percent of all shoppers – are expected to flock to Black Friday and Cyber ââMonday sales, according to a Finder.com.au survey.
However, both dates are expected to be heavily focused online due to the many issues facing retailers and customers’ impatience with Covid security measures.
Research by Roy Morgan found that 58 percent of shoppers will buy more Christmas gifts online this year.