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Australia Bunnings and Kmart could be next in line to close as coronavirus hits economy

14:06  30 march  2020
14:06  30 march  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

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Bunnings and a number of large retailers may be forced to close their doors to the general public as the NSW Government looks to minimise the risk of large groups of people.

Warehouse-style retailers, including Big W, Ikea, Kmart, Target and Officeworks are also up for evaluation if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is reportedly happy with the current restrictions, but will extend closures if the state needs to minimise risk further.

a car parked in a parking lot: Named © Fairfax Media Named

Trade and DIY giant Bunnings employs 43,000 Australians around the country, including more than 12,000 here in NSW.

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Michael Schneider, Managing Director of Bunnings, said keeping the doors open for trades would be critical.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak around the world

"The challenge for us is not just the customers and the team members operating in stores but across Australia over 700,000 small businesses rely on Bunnings to provide them with products," Mr Schneider said.

a group of people standing in front of a store: Hardware chain Bunnings follows supermarkets' lead by restricting purchases © Today Hardware chain Bunnings follows supermarkets' lead by restricting purchases

The construction industry employs more than one million Australians and accounts for 10 per cent of the entire workforce.

"If you're a plumber and you're doing an urgent hot water repair you need to be able to get in and get that product and get out to a customer's home to get that system running," said Mr Schneider.

"It's the same for electricians, it's the same for thousands of small businesses."

a group of people standing in front of a store: Kmart confirmed the news saying the store, located at the Northcote Plaza shopping complex, would not be renewing its lease when it expires this November. © AAP Kmart confirmed the news saying the store, located at the Northcote Plaza shopping complex, would not be renewing its lease when it expires this November.

9News understands the NSW Premier is currently in discussions as to whether shopping centres and large shops should be shut down entirely.

"We will need to go further if people don't respect what we've put in place now," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said this morning.

a double decker bus parked in front of a store: Officeworks will also be reviewed. © A Current Affair Officeworks will also be reviewed.
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