There’s a whiff of freedom in the air and Shaun Bonett is hoping for the best. The landlord, whose tenants include Apple, David Jones, JB Hi-Fi, Lululemon and Tiffany & Co, believes there’s a pent up demand.
“The consumer has been locked in a straitjacket. When they’re released, you will see a strong desire to experience consumer freedoms,” Bonett says.
Shopping centres were never officially closed, but social restrictions imposed to stop the spread of the pandemic have kept people away. Now, as the number of new COVID-19 cases slows to a trickle, the shackles are starting to come off. Some students have gone back to school, Sydney beaches have reopened, Northern Territory pubs will invite customers in for a drink again from May 15 and the rules around numbers attending social gatherings are loosening.
The Prime Minister and state and territory leaders will soon discuss lifting more COVID-19 restrictions around the country, including those related to community and professional sport and cafes and restaurants. Economists and global investors are also pushing for a reopening to avoid more damage to the economy.