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Melbourne: extended hours and latest tech help customers beat the queues this long weekend

Last week, Vicinity announced a wide-range of COVID safety measures in place at each of its centres across Melbourne. This Melbourne Cup weekend all of Vicinity’s shopping centres across Melbourne – including Chadstone, Northland, The Glen and Bayside – will be open with extended opening hours to give customers more time to shop, dine and enjoy services safely.

Vicinity’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Huddle, said: “As this is our first weekend since reopening, and many Melburnians will be taking advantage of a four-day long weekend, we expect customer traffic to be consistently strong. Our priority remains the safety of everyone who visits and works in our centres, and that’s why we’re extending hours to give customers more time, outside our busiest times, to shop with us.”

On reopening day, foot traffic at Vicinity’s 21 Victorian centres including, Chadstone, Emporium Melbourne, The Glen, Northland and Bayside was on average at about 80% when compared with last year, said Huddle. With new COVID safety technologies in place, building on the protective measures and protocols at each centre, customers are encouraged to shop early or late afternoon to avoid peak times from 11am to 3pm. Customers can also pre-book a time to shop at participating retailers including Kmart, Target and JB Hi-Fi using new digital queuing system, SocialQ.

“Pre-booking a visit to their favourite store will save customers time and offer a more convenient shopping experience as they’ll skip the queue and be able to get into the store as quickly as possible,” explained Huddle.

SocialQ is available at Vicinity’s Melbourne centres, with bookings available via SocialQ’s or the retailers’ websites, while customers in-centre can use a QR code to join a virtual queue, rather than lining up, if capacity is reached in-store. More than 70,000 SocialQ bookings have already been made and this number is expected to grow as more customers start using the service and as more retailers sign up to the platform.

“Since reopening, we’ve seen everyone do the right thing to help keep each other safe and we want this to continue with all customers and teams wearing masks, sanitising their hands regularly, including on entry, and practising healthy social distancing,” said Huddle.

“Our retailers and our centre teams are thrilled to be back serving our customers and we want everyone visiting our centres to use a common-sense approach and continue to follow the advice of our governments and relevant health authorities.”

Each centre across Melbourne has a thorough COVID-safe plan and Vicinity has a range of extensive protective measures in place.

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