Kmart has announced a huge change is coming to stores before Christmas.
The retailer joined forces with Afterpay, offering customers the ability to use the buy now pay later platform on purchases in-store – something that will no doubt be very popular before the festive season.
Kmart has been offering Afterpay to their online customers for the last three years and will now be extending the service to in-store.
The retailer sees this as the perfect time to offer the service as Christmas can be a stressful time, but even more so given the events of this year. It's no doubt shoppers will be relieved to know they can use Afterpay in-store as a budgeting option.
"We know how much our customers love shopping at Kmart and we have heard you, we are absolutely delighted to be able to offer this seven weeks out from Christmas," Katrina Konstas, EVP, Country Manager at Afterpay said in a statement.
"We also know how much younger Australians have missed shopping in-store (69%) and how
excited they are to hit the shops again (42%) as found in our recent Lockdown Liberation Study."
Chris Renshaw, Kmart General Manager of Stores added, "Introducing Afterpay across our network of stores including our K hub stores, just in time for Christmas is incredibly exciting – customers can now have even more access to our products with the added benefit of managing their budgets for Christmas time and well into the future. We look forward to expanding this offering into New Zealand early next year."
It comes after the fact Kmart boss John Gualtieri confirmed unvaccinated customers will not be able to shop in NSW stores, sparking debate.
The CEO confirmed in an email to shoppers the restrictions were in line with the current government regulations, to ensure a "safe, seamless and convenient" shopping experience.
"As per the NSW Government requirement, customers will need to show proof that they are fully COVID-19 vaccinated, unless a medical exemption applies," the email read.
A Kmart spokesperson confirmed the store would continue to follow government guidelines.
"We will continue to comply with evolving government requirements to keep our customers and team safe and we will keep customers updated should requirements change," the spokesperson told 7News.
The email, however, sparked some debate among Kmart shoppers, and confusion, as some seemingly thought the store was 'permanently' banning unvaccinated shoppers.
"Are they not letting unvaccinated people shop in-store??" one person asked on Kmart's Facebook page.
Others threatened to boycott the store over the rule.
"Wow never thought Kmart would discriminate so ashamed of them, thought they were a great store, l need to think again," was another angry comment.
"Kmart I have been a massive supporter of your store. but that has now ended. Never again will I purchase anything from your stores. Discrimination Disgusting," another wrote.
Many, however, supported the move, with one person commenting: "Well, people should be vaccinated".
"Good on them, I am double vaccinated so don’t have an issue," wrote another.
With reporting by Kristine Tarbert.
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