Retailers at a shopping precinct have moved quickly to take precautions to stay open amid a coronavirus scare at an instore event.
Retailers at a shopping precinct have moved quickly to take precautions to stay open amid a coronavirus scare at an instore event.

Retailers move to keep trading following coronavirus scare

BUSINESSES are encouraging online orders and offering free delivery as uncertainty hits with drastic restrictions in place to contain coronavirus.

At Stones Corner this week both the annual festival set for May 3 and this weekend's Village Market were cancelled.

Record store Sonic Sherpa at Stones Corner had its own coronavirus scare when one of the members from a band who did an in-store appearance on Sunday tested positive for COVID-19.

The shop alerted customers yesterday after its was confirmed a member of Melbourne band Ocean Grove tested positive since returning home on Monday.

"We've spoken to the authorities and even though they weren't showing any symptoms while in the shop anyone who was in "close contact" with the band should seriously consider the 14-day self-quarantine period as recommended by the Queensland Government and see a medical professional immediately if virus symptoms develop," the store advised on social media.

"We are not looking for people the infected person may have passed on the street or in a shop, as the risk in these situations is extremely low."

Sonic Sherpa management advised the shop had been heavily sanitised as a precaution.

"We've been assured that it's completely safe to stay open for the moment," the store said.

On Tuesday, before the case was confirmed Sonic Sherpa had already cancelled all upcoming in-store appearances.

"After much deliberation and with everyone's safety in mind we've decided to postpone our ongoing instore program until the coronavirus restrictions on gatherings are lifted," the store announced.

"The instores are our favourite part, but we have an obligation to both the artists and our customers and wider society to do the right thing."

Sonic Sherpa owner Simon Homer is working hard to stay trading after having to cancel all instore appearances. Picture: AAP/Renae Droop
Sonic Sherpa owner Simon Homer is working hard to stay trading after having to cancel all instore appearances. Picture: AAP/Renae Droop

Store owner Simon Homer and Our Stones Corner president Michael Weibler had been talking to the South-East Advertiser about strategies to keep the precinct trading through the uncertain times.

Sonic Sherpa has been pitching free delivery for those self-isolating or "reluctant to venture out", offering to bring online purchases to the door for free for the rest of March for any purchase over $20.

Mr Weibler, who owns book shop Books@Stones has also had to cancel in-store events.

He said while the instore events were not a big part of the business as was the case for Sonic Sherpa, he had also put online offers in place and offered free postage for online orders up until Easter to boost trade through the coronavirus restrictions.

However he said otherwise it was business as usual for all the local shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and gyms.

"We are all open for business. Yes not having the festival and the markets is not good, but we all understand the decisions and that's fine," he said.

"We don't know where this is all going to end up and it could be quite bad for everybody. We are just going to push through, do what we can for our community, look after each other and welcome people to come down to our businesses if they are well and we will follow the rules that the Government puts in place."

 

Originally published as Retailers move to keep trading following coronavirus scare


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