Higher wages seasonal issue: Batemans Bay business owner

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A Eurobodalla business says paying weekend penalty rates is tougher in winter.

Batemans Bay’s Hooked on Books is open seven days a week, including on public holidays.

However owner Felicity Collins said those hours were required, as the business was within the Village Centre.

“Regardless of how busy we are, we must be open 10am to 4pm,” she said.

“I would open public holidays and Sundays, even if we weren’t in the Centre, but not the six hours.

“During winter, Sundays are a bit hard, as you feel like you are paying more in wages than you make. In saying that, once we become busier, it’s not an issue.”

Mrs Collins said reduced penalty rates on Sundays would make things easier, as the difference between the Saturday and Sunday adult hourly rate was $14.25.

“It can be hard,” she said.

“You will find that a lot of retail shops have the owners working Sundays or they utilise their junior staff members.”

She said a reduction in Sunday rates would make it easier for businesses to justify the wages.

“It would encourage people to open, which has a flow-on effect to other businesses who are already opening,” she said.

“If more shops were open it would stimulate spending in the area. It creates an encouraging atmosphere.

“People expect shops to be open seven days a week, they just might not understand how hard this could be for some retailers to do.”

Meanwhile, the business has moved to dispel the rumour it was closing down, after ABC Retail announced it would shut 50 dedicated stores last month.

It will be business as usual for the store, one of 78 retailers nationally which include ABC Centres.

ABC products and the ABC logo will be removed from the store on Friday, February 5, but it will remain open, contrary to rumours it would close.

“We are not closing,” owner Ms Collins said.

“We are a bookshop first and the ABC Centre was a nice extra.

“We have loved being an ABC Centre and the ABC is currently looking at options that would enable it to continue a number of branded destinations, in line with the changing retail environment.”

Ms Collins said Hooked on Books was no longer selling ABC Gift Cards but customers could redeem them in store until February, after which they can be used online.

“We will still be selling DVDs and CDs and we are still able to take orders for our customers,” she said.

ABC managing director Mark Scott said the bedrock of the ABC stores’ book, CD and DVD retailing had changed “fundamentally” and ABC would instead focus on online sales.

He said this aligned with the changing retail environment, as consumers increasingly access content digitally through subscription services and downloads and purchase physical

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