Kathy Dine and Nikki Roberts from IDEAL Placements were happy to support the local Myer when it reopened. Picture: Tony Martin
Kathy Dine and Nikki Roberts from IDEAL Placements were happy to support the local Myer when it reopened. Picture: Tony Martin

Retail doubles in Mackay’s biggest shopping centre

THE number of stores now open in Mackay’s biggest shopping complex has doubled since this time last month.

With the majority of residents staying home due to COVID-19 restrictions, retail outlets both big and small were forced to close their doors for several weeks.

It was a major economic setback for business owners and employees alike.

This week marks the start of a new chapter, with major department store Myer reopening in Caneland Central.

Kathy Dine and Nikki Roberts from IDEAL Placements were happy to support the local Myer when it reopened. Picture: Tony Martin
Kathy Dine and Nikki Roberts from IDEAL Placements were happy to support the local Myer when it reopened. Picture: Tony Martin

The centre now has more than 80 per cent of stores trading, with more expected to reopen soon.

Caneland Central manager Simon De Barro said traffic in the centre had improved in recent weeks with more shoppers returning.

He said the centre was supporting stores to trade flexibly and adjust their trading hours as needed.

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“We are supporting each store on a case-by-case basis, depending on the impact the pandemic has had on their trade,” Mr De Barro said.

“With more stores reopening we are actively monitoring social distancing and limiting the number of customers in stores.”

With many employers closing their doors last month, hundreds of employees were able to keep their jobs thanks to the Government’s Back to Work program.

Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said more than 1500 locals were back to work with close to 700 employers thanks to the program.

“It is great to see those numbers are continuing to climb even as we go through these tough times,” she said.

While added hygiene measures are likely to be in place for a long time to come, don’t let that stop you from enjoying some retail therapy.

Signs and a queue area set up outside Woolworths Caneland Central. The remainder of the centre has been quiet for the past couple of months with most people just shopping for groceries.
Signs and a queue area set up outside Woolworths Caneland Central. The remainder of the centre has been quiet for the past couple of months with most people just shopping for groceries.

Myer reopened in Caneland Central and other locations across the country today, after a two-month closure.

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The store is back to trading normally with only a few changes such as additional cleaning measures and the suspension of close contact services like shoe fittings.

Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said retail activity was key to economic recovery.

“Public health and safety is the priority and that will ensure a sustainable recovery rather than a false start,” Mr Zahra said.

“Each state is on a slightly different recovery path and those decisions will be based on local data and expert advice.”



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