Kmart cuts trading hours as staff members test positive for coronavirus

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

Two Kmart employees who worked inside Australia’s biggest shopping mall on the weekend have tested positive for coronavirus.

The casual employees were working inside Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre on Saturday, with management alerting the hundreds of retailers across the mall’s three floors.

Kmart closed the shop’s doors after staff were confirmed to have COVID-19 and set about a thorough clean both inside and outside the store.

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Kmart closed its doors after the confirmed cases and has since announced new trading hours. Source: Google Maps

A Kmart spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia the store was “immediately closed” for a “thorough sanitisation” when the illnesses were confirmed.

“We have worked closely with the Department of Health who have advised us that there is minimal risk to any customers who entered our store on that day,” they said.

Kmart has also introduced additional team training to include reinforcing the importance of hygiene practices and social distancing to align with government regulations.

Stores have implemented regular deep cleans, made additional sanitisers available to staff and customers, and at one store, is trialing “one directional” shopping, similar to IKEA.

Those shopping online can access contactless Click and Collect, and there is now free shipping on orders more than $45 to support the growth of online customer needs.

Cut trading hours

The retail giant has since announced cutting back trading hours to take effect from Wednesday, in a move aimed at “giving our teams more time to clean stores and support online order fulfilment”.

Kmart stores in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania will now operate from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and 8am to 5pm on weekends.

Western Australia and South Australia will be open from 8am to 8pm weekdays and 8am to 5pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

Queenslanders will be able to shop between 7am and 8pm on weekdays, between 7am and 5pm on Saturday, and 9am to 5pm on Sunday.

Stores that normally trade 24 hours will now be open from 8am to 10pm every day of the week.

These hours will apply unless local legislations stipulate otherwise.

Two other staff members of a Coles store in Mulgrave, southeast of Melbourne, have also tested positive for the virus.

Victoria recorded 96 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state's total tally to 917 cases. Among them were four babies, three under 12 months old and the fourth a year old.  

Meanwhile, police continue enforcing new social-distancing rules that restrict public gatherings to two people.

By Tuesday, officers had conducted 1225 spot checks on homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state.

With AAP

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