Vicinity Centres’ Emporium Melbourne temporarily closed its doors at 5pm on Sunday 5 April until later this month due to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the centre.
Customers can still access Emporium Pharmacy and Emporium Medical Centre, with security and cleaners on-site to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people using these essential services. Select food retailers will also continue trading, offering a delivery-only service.
Vicinity CEO and Managing Director Grant Kelley said: “The CBD has experienced a significant drop in visitation as people adhere to the government’s guidelines to stay at home and more city workers are working from home.
“We’ve already seen more than 90% of our retailers at Emporium Melbourne temporarily close their doors both voluntarily and due to government restrictions to ensure public safety. As a result, we have made the decision to close Emporium Melbourne temporarily until the COVID-19 situation eases in our community,” Kelley said.
“Our first priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, retailers, teams and the broader community, and these are unprecedented circumstances that require decisive measures to support our retailers and our centre.”
Kelley said the closure of Emporium Melbourne followed Vicinity’s decision to reduce opening hours at all 63 centres across Australia, to provide retailers with more flexibility to manage their businesses through the evolving COVID-19 situation, while still providing customers with access to essential goods and services.
“Across Australia, we’re continuing to work with each of our retailers to provide support based on their individual circumstances including the remaining retailers preparing to close this weekend, as well as those who have already closed as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.
“We thank our loyal Emporium customers and all our retail partners for their continued support and understanding during this challenging time, and we look forward to reopening for our community,” Kelley said.
Last month, SCN reported on the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest esports and games entertainment venue, Fortress Melbourne, as it was unveiled at Emporium Melbourne on the 13 March. A few days later, as restrictions were put in place, Fortress Melbourne temporarily closed its doors on the 18 March.
Emporium Melbourne is one of the first cases of a major shopping centre closing its doors in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.