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Victoria’s COVID-19 road map is ‘a death sentence’ for retailers

Retailers has been left “devastated” by Victoria’s COVID-19 road map, which does not include the the reopening of most retail until October 23.

CEO of the Australian Retailers Association, Paul Zahra, said he was “completely gobsmacked” by the plan.

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Mr Zahra said retailers were hoping for staged reopening, but instead they got a “delayed reopening”.

“It’s a devastating outcome,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“It will be a death sentence for many small to medium sized businesses, unfortunately.”

Mr Zahra estimates it will take more than two years for the retail industry to recover.

He says he “wants to” trust the state government, but the result of the reopening consultation process has left him with doubts.

“We’ve been, certainly, let down by the government … there’s no doubt there will have to be a lot of rebuilding of relationships.”