A Kmart shopper has lashed out after realising the retailer doesn’t stock any Australia Day merchandise. The customer put the shop on blast after being unable to find any Australia Day-themed “clothes, decorations and plates” in store.
The irritated shopper demanded an ‘explanation’ from the retail giant and aired her concerns in a heated Facebook post.
“We are having an Australia Day function next week and we visited our local store (Penrith) to get clothes, decorations and plates etc to celebrate our National Day,” she began.
“Imagine my surprise when the store had no Australia Day merchandise (apart from a few serviettes and paper plates hidden in the party section).
“Would you please explain why Kmart is not stocking Australia Day merchandise?
“Please do not say they do not have the room as they have no trouble finding room for the American custom of Halloween.”
Australia Day is considered a controversial holiday, as it is observed yearly on January 26, the date that the First Fleet arrived in Sydney.
Each year there are calls to change the date or abolish the public holiday, with many Indigenous Australians and supporters labelling the holiday as ‘Invasion Day, Survival Day or Day of Mourning’.
The Guardian recently reported that the attitude towards the public holiday is changing, and some companies have made altered policies with this in mind.
Telstra, Woodside and The University of Wollongong are now allowing staff to take leave on alternative days if they don’t see Australia Day as something to be celebrated.
Retailers can often face backlash if they stock Australia Day merchandise, and while Kmart has done so in the past, they no longer do.
Kmart confirms their position on Australia Day
In a statement given to Yahoo Lifestyle, Kmart confirmed that they no longer sell any specific Australia Day merchandise. The Kmart spokesperson also added that the retailer allows staff to choose whether they want to work or not on the controversial holiday.
“At Kmart, we do not sell any merchandise that is specific to Australia Day. However, customers who shop with us can find a number of products year-round that feature Australiana designs with Australian animals, flora and fauna, as well as educational materials.
“We respect that the 26th of January means different things to different people and we aim to foster an environment that is inclusive and respectful of both our customers and teams.
“It is for this reason that we will also be giving all of our team members the choice of whether or not they work that day, with the option to substitute for another day,” the statement read.
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