The Large Format Retail Association (LFRA) is extending membership for a minimum six months to new and current members at no cost.

Existing members include big retail brands like Barbeques Galore, Bunnings, Costco, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks. The Association also represents Large Format Retail landlords, developers and service suppliers.

The industry was able to trade continuously throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to its convenience as consumers spending habits changed and retailers adapted to differing trading requirements and restrictions, LFRA CEO Philippa Kelly said.

“Large Format Retail stores have a large footprint and are often situated at ground level, so shoppers and staff felt safe whilst maintaining social distance for either click and collect or in-store shopping,” she said. “It has been pleasing to see that June sales have bounced back for most retailers.”

Kelly said when restrictions ease and public gatherings resume the LFRA will start to host national quarterly forums to bring the industry together. “The forums underpin the unique and collaborative culture of the LFRA where retailers, landlords, developers and service suppliers, come together to work collaboratively for the common good of the industry,” she said.

Membership fees for over 140 members and brands for the LFRA are usually charged on a financial year basis, however due to COVID-19 current membership will be extended to January 1, 2021.

The industry employed approximately 450,000 people nationally and generated $80.7 billion in sales during the financial year ending June 2019.