Australia’s clothing industry is reeling from the arrival of cotton bags.
But not everyone is happy.
The Australian Retailers Association says the arrival will hurt retailers, including the likes of Gap and Woolworths, who are hoping to expand their global business.
But some of the country’s largest retailers have said the arrival is a step in the right direction.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to grow our business in Australia, it’s a great opportunity to support our local workforce,” Woolworth boss Andrew Haldane told the ABC.
“I think it’s an opportunity for the Australian retail sector to grow.”
But he said the company would be prepared to deal with the influx of new arrivals and suggested the influx was a positive.
“The people who come into the country have to be ready for that,” he said.
“If we don’t manage the environment and people have to have a healthy work-life balance, we’re going to lose people.”
Mr Haldanes said Woolworth had “done a fantastic job” and was confident it would continue to grow its business.
The ARA also slammed a proposal by Woolworth to introduce “cotton bags” to its Australian stores.
The idea was floated by a Woolworth spokesman and would have allowed the firm to carry up to 100 per cent cotton fabric.
However, the company has not yet taken up the proposal and is focusing on other priorities.
“We have a very good supply chain and we’ve got a really strong workforce here, we have a great supplier base here and we have strong customers and we’re also looking at new locations,” Mr Haldance said.
Woolworth is also set to open its new store in Brisbane next month, opening a new location at Victoria Road.
“There are a number of things happening in Australia at the moment, and we are looking at all options for the future,” Mr Woolworth said.
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