‘Economic carnage’ for retail sector amid lockdown
Retail sales in April were down nearly 80 per cent, compared to the same month last year, due to the COVID-19 lockdown in New Zealand.
This is according to data from the latest Retail NZ Sales Index.
And Retail NZ Chief executive Greg Harford says it is likely we will see a wave of redundancies across the sector when the Wage Subsidy runs out.
A survey of retailers suggests that things are no better under alert level 3, despite online sales going up by 350 per cent in the first week.
“Online trading, which has been permitted since last Monday is not delivering sales that will allow retailers to recover from the economic carnage of the last few weeks.
“The fixed costs incurred by retailers continue to build up, and the COVID-19 restrictions will mean that the survival of many retail businesses is on a knife-edge.
“The Wages Subsidy has effectively kept many people employed in retail, but it is likely that we will see a wave of redundancies across the sector when that Subsidy runs out.”
He says the reality is that the retail sector will need substantially greater Government support to retain staff and keep operating over the next period.