As you read this, you’re probably one of the majority of Australians who is employed by a company or government department who has taken advantage of the freak “take three days annual leave and enjoy a 10 day break” that a combination of Easter and the Anzac Day holiday has provided.
Either that or you’re self-employed and working in your own shopper facing business, as most distribution and manufacturing sites will be very short staffed and have probably taken the decision to close.
And if you are in the first group of Australians enjoying the break, please spend some of your time eating and shopping over this break. Wander stores, sit in cafes and eat out at restaurants.
Why? Well firstly having the time to shop casually in different places is always the mark of a great break. Secondly the small business owners who are open have consciously opened their doors instead of closing them. And it is a decision they have to make each time there is a public holiday in our great country. Because being open on a public holiday is a very expensive option as these businesses are paying their team much higher wages than on any other day.
I’m not taking any political position on whether that a good or bad thing, it just is. And often in business we have to make decisions and deal with thing that just are. As a business owner we can complain and whinge about it, but the labour laws, and holiday labour rates, apply to everybody equally, so suck it up, and make the call to open or to close. If you open, then use your best endeavours to make it a successful holiday trading period.
So, holidaying shoppers, in order to make it worthwhile for those who choose to open their business over the break, and the staff who choose to work there, they need us to shop.
I will be doing my bit by clothes shopping and furniture shopping with my daughter, eating out with my wife and buying car accessories with my son. There is a chance I may be in a small bar on a sunny afternoon with friends too. And I may even buy some paint and pick up a paintbrush to do some therapeutic tidying up of a corner of the house on a quiet day. And most of that shopping will be done in small, privately owned businesses.
Enjoy your break.
Kevin Moore is a retail expert and the chairman of Crossmark Asia Pacific Holdings.