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Melbourne-based suppliers respond to restrictions

Melbourne retailers have now shut their physical stores to customers in line with stage 4 restrictions with service moving online. Appliance Retailer reached out to Melbourne-based appliance and consumer electronics suppliers to find out the impact of the restrictions on their business.

Hisense head of marketing, Andre Iannuzzi said the company is closely monitoring the evolving situation and the subsequent restrictions that have been imposed by the Victorian government in the interest of public health and safety.

“We are operating within the guidelines and regulations mandated by the government across all departments, however service times for repair and warranty work may be affected,” he told Appliance Retailer.

“At Hisense, our customers continue to be a key priority for us and those who require product support are encouraged to contact our dedicated Customer Care team by calling 1800 447 367 (9am – 5pm, Monday to Sunday) or emailing [email protected].”

Jura managing director, George Liakatos said the news that Melbourne would be placed under stage 4 restrictions has been incredibly challenging for employees and local partners.

However, the company’s supply chain and logistic services for coffee machines, accessories, consumables, spare parts and coffee will continue to operate through these restrictions at a reduced capacity.

“This may impact our normal lead times to deliver goods, but we are working with our logistic partners to minimise this disruption,” Liakatos said.

As a food and beverage wholesaler, the Jura repair centre will continue to operate; however, the hospitality centre has closed including the option to drop-off and collect repaired coffee machines.

“Victorian customers will be offered a complimentary collection and return service via our logistics partner for their machines, irrespective of if they are within or outside of the warranty period. This service will be in place until at least 13 September but may be extended if stage 4 restrictions remain in place until after this date.”

The Jura Live online advisory service will continue to operate unaffected providing advice and demonstrations for customers. All other administration and customer support staff will continue to operate remotely.

“We ask for your patience for longer than normal lead and response times that may occur as a result of the increased level of restrictions. Rest assured we are doing our best to ensure continuity of service and support to our employees, partners and customers during this challenging period.”

Bertazzoni general manager of sales, George Alikakos said although the South Melbourne showroom is currently deemed ‘non-essential’, the company is still working with its partners and customers.

“In compliance with all government regulations, we are practising COVID-19 safe operations in warehousing and transportation. Our internal sales and service teams are working from home and remain available on 1800 654 265 and [email protected],” he told Appliance Retailer.

“We are still accepting orders and delivering to stores or customers’ addresses in metro Melbourne while adhering to contactless government regulations.

“We are all in this together and I wish everyone well and to stay safe. I would also like to thank our logistics teams from M3 Logistics and RAW around Australia who are getting it done.”

Yamaha general manager audio visual, Simon Goldsworthy said the latest restrictions will have a minimal impact on the business.

“We have already moved all staff to work full time from home with the majority of our dealers still able to trade online and over the phone. Our 3PL warehouse and transport companies are also still able to operate,” he told Appliance Retailer.

“Our concerns are more centred around the mid-term economic impact on our smaller independent retailers in Melbourne. We hope they can make it through this period with the help of government grants and understanding landlords.”

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