The Prime Minister has made it quite clear that retail stores and shopping centres can still remain open. But many favourite shops are just finding trading conditions too hostile and have opted to close their doors, leaving thousands without jobs.
The latest victims of the Coronavirus closures include Premier Investments Limited – which owns the Just Group, whose popular brands include Just Jeans, Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Jay Jays, Portmans, Jacqui E and Dotti.
The company has also announced that it will shut down outlets in the UK and New Zealand, standing down over 9,000 staff members.
“These extraordinary steps have been deemed necessary by governments to limit the spread and minimise the impact of the pandemic,” the Premier corporation said in a statement.
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“Premier’s primary focus is the health and safety of its employees, its customers and the broader community.”
The company said Australian shops will shut its doors from 6pm tonight and are earmarked to open on 22 April.
Staff Stood Down
Premier said that “all employees in Australia are to be stood down, except for a small number of employees required to perform limited essential work. This means our team members will not attend work and will not be paid.”
“We have put in place special arrangements for employees to access accrued annual and long service leave entitlements to reduce the impact over this time.”
The management team is working from home when required with either no pay or accessing other entitlements during the shutdown.
“This is the hardest decision ever made by Premier – our team is our family and we want to do everything we can to keep them employed, but we believe that it is necessary and the right decision for them, their families, our customers, and the country,” the Premier statement read.
What About Rent?
The company has said that it will not be paying rent during this time, as reported in news.com.au.
“These extraordinary circumstances mean Premier intends not to pay any rent globally for the duration of the shutdown,” the group revealed.
More Favourite Shops Shut
Yesterday, we reported that Mosaic Brands, the parent company of popular outlets including Noni B, Rivers and Katie, was also closing up shop as a result of Coronavirus pressures.
In addition, Accent group, which owns Platypus, Hype and Athletes Foot will close 522 stores for four weeks from Friday, standing down more than 5000 workers.
With retail stores closing all over, it looks inevitable that shopping centres will follow soon.
Do you think it’s the right thing for all these favourite shops to close now? Tell us in the comments below.