I’d like to begin this week’s column by explaining why it is you’re hearing from me this week rather than Dominique. In exciting news last Thursday, Dominique gave birth to her second child, a beautiful baby boy named Frederick.

I can confirm that mother and son are both doing well. Although Dominique will be taking a short break to look after her new son, she will continue to represent the retail industry by engaging with our key stakeholders and the media. On behalf of the entire NRA family, I’d like to publicly extend our congratulations to her and husband Tony.  We look forward to having Dom back on deck in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, on the COVID front we have seen the further relaxing of some restrictions across several states. South Australia has now opened its border to New South Wales residents, whilst Queensland has lifted its restrictions on people travelling from the ACT and will further relax rules for people travelling from regional parts of New South Wales.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the further removal of some lockdown restrictions, with metropolitan Melbourne now entering the second step on the Roadmap to Recovery. Importantly, we welcome the partial return to work for postal and distribution centres as this will help bolster supply chains for the upcoming holiday season. However, despite this step, most retail outlets will remain closed until 19 October. We certainly hope that this deadline is not delayed given the retail sector is about to head into the traditionally busy Christmas trade period and Melbourne represents the second-largest city in the country.

Finally, I’d like to finish by giving another shout-out to our upcoming 2020 National Retail Awards. Like most things in 2020, it is going to be a little different this year as an online event taking place on 15 October. Retail workers have been at the frontline, ensuring that Australians continue to have access to essential items and this year more than ever we should be celebrating the incredible work of our industry.  Registrations to attend are open, and if you’re quick to register you will receive a specially curated goodie bag filled with treats from our sponsors. You can register to attend the Awards for free at the NRA website.

All the best for the week and keep well.