Major retailers will be forced to close for a four-day period over Christmas in several Queensland towns in a widespread closure being dubbed “extreme”.
Brands with more than 100 employees statewide will be shut from Christmas Day until December 28 in 20 regional areas.
Big businesses in areas including Mt Isa, Goondiwindi, Chinchilla, Kingaroy, Roma, Childers, Blackwater, Bowen, Ayr, Charters Towers and Proserpine will have to close for the four days.
The shutdown will also impact large retailers in Mission Beach, Cloncurry, Weipa, Nanango, Oakey, Home Hill, Pittsworth, Charleville and Longreach.
Woolworths, Coles Aldi, Big W, Target and Kmart to close
Bunnings, Mitre 10, Thrifty Link & Home Timber and Hardware stay open
Big hardware stores including Bunnings, unlike supermarket and clothing stores, will be permitted to remain open throughout the Christmas period.
Unless they have an exemption allowing them to trade 365 days a year, hardware stores must still however close their doors on Christmas Day.
What stores are exempt?
Independently owned stores selling food and other groceries will be exempt from the lengthy closure.
There are varying levels of closures required across the state, dependent on business type and size.
Shops in southeast Queensland region including Noosa, Coolangatta and Gatton will remain open for trading every day except Christmas Day, as well as areas in the state’s “defined” tourist areas.
These are parts of the state like New Farm, Brisbane, Hamilton North Shore Area, Gold Coast Coastal Tourist Area, The Great Barrier Reef Wonderland Tourist Complex, the Port Douglas township, the Cairns CBD and the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
Retailers in all other parts of the state will be open each day except Christmas Day, aside from those in a “defined seaside resort”, which will also be forced to close on December 27.
Four-day supermarket close slammed as ‘extreme’
The four-day closure has been criticised by retail groups for the inconvenience it posed to customers and the additional strain that would be forced on retailers either side of the closure.
“A four-day closure is rather extreme... I think in 2020, we all have our routine shops that we want to visit, and for some it's hard to anticipate all their needs over a four-day break,” Manager of Industry Policy David Stout told ABC News.
“There's going to be a lot of congestion before and after the closure. I think the major risk is for those who are not able to prepare, or not be able to get access to the supplies that they need.”
Business set to succeed in the four-day closure are small independent grocers, which usually lose out to big retailers offering more variety and competitive prices.
An owner of a small grocer in Mt Isa told the ABC that Sunday trading was a major reason his business had survived, as it forced larger retailers into restricted hours.
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