At this point, only essential services such as supermarkets, pharmacies, and post offices are allowed to remain open in the state.
Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott is lobbying the Victorian government to reconsider its retail store closures.
"We’ve proven through COVID that we have dramatically adjusted our operating procedures. So I think that there’s an opportunity in a very risk-based measured way that we review this over coming weeks," Rob Scott told ABC’s Radio and National.
Such adjustments include the introduction of social distancing measures like mask-wearing, hygiene stations, and store capacity limits.
Shopping online is still available for these stores as Wesfarmers is now set to transition solely to a click and collect service.
Other retail giants including Myer, David Jones, and JB Hi-Fi are also set to close stores across Victoria and remain operational as only a click and collect service. None so far have joined Wesfarmers bid for an exemption.
Wesfarmers has claimed that a stage four lockdown might mean a loss of jobs for some of its 25,000 staff members.
Even if an exemption is not granted for Wesfarmers, it is predicted by Contact Asset fund manager and Wesfarmers shareholder Tom Millner that the retail conglomerate could easily survive the six-week shutdowns.
Millner told The Age, “Rob Scott's left this business in a great position with an awesome balance sheet, so they can ride this out even if they don't get an exemption."
The six-week strict lockdown has been labelled as a preventative measure for ongoing restrictions that could lead up to Christmas and have even more dire consequences.
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