According to Retail NZ, the ongoing Red Light setting has pushed the retail sector into a confidence testing, deep financial crisis.
Falling foot traffic and sales have prompted 59 percent of retailers responding to a Retail NZ survey to say they fear they may not survive the next 12 months. This includes 37 percent who said their businesses were on a knife’s edge and 22 percent likely to cease trading.
“On average, our members are reporting that sales are down by 32 per cent nationally, but a third of retailers are down by more than 40 per cent,” said Greg Harford, Retail NZ chief executive.
“This is not sustainable for the retail sector, and we have asked the government to take urgent steps to reintroduce the wage subsidy and the Resurgence Support Payment.”
If the government fails to provide support, Harford noted that 76 percent of retailers will reduce operating hours to manage the wage bill, while 32 percent will make their staff redundant. Also, 16 percent of businesses indicate they will simply close the doors permanently.