FCA and retail focuses on support after Westfield Bondi Junction tragedy

Retail franchise Westfield Bondi
Westfield Bondi Junction (Source: Scentre Group)

In the aftermath of the stabbing attacks at Westfield Bondi Junction on Saturday in which six victims died, the focus of retailers and the franchise community is on supporting team members.

The Franchise Council of Australia said multiple members have outlets in the centre. Many of the member teams helped support customers, and shepherd passers-by to safety.

In a statement, Matthew Monaghan, FCA CEO, said “The friendships and support networks across the FCA family that have come into play are deeply moving. I am aware of many instances where our members have reached out to each other for support, reinforcing the solidarity that underpins our community.”

Retailers support team members

In a LinkedIn post, Amber Manning, CEO of Just Cuts, said the priority for the business is supporting team members.

“All of us at Just Cuts are devastated by the tragic events at Westfield Bondi Junction. Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of the victims during this time of unimaginable shock and horror,” she said.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the Just Cuts Bondi Junction team, first reponders and frontline retail workers for their incredible bravery and swift actions in protecting each other and aiding those in need.

“Just Cuts Bondi Junction will remain closed temporarily. Our priority is to provide support and resources to our team members during this difficult time.”

Scentre Group considers reopening date

Westfield Bondi Junction is owned by the Scentre Group. The Scentre Group’s CEO Elliott Rusanow issued a statement following the vigil at Bondi Junction on Monday in which he extended “deepest condolences” to those impacted by the tragedy.

“Last night, police handed Westfield Bondi back to us and we have begun the task of preparing to re-open. We have not decided yet on that date. We expect it will be later this week.

“Our centre is an important social hub. We are carefully considering how we re-open to the community in a way that is measured and respectful. We are working with a range of community members and other stakeholders on what this plan looks like.”

Rusanow welcomed the announcement of the coronial inquiry.

Potential review of security arrangements

A statement from the Shopping Centre Council of Australia chief executive Angus Nardi echoed the sentiments.

“We remain in close contact with our member Scentre Group and formally recognise their efforts and compassion during this tragic incident, including their support for the ongoing NSW Police investigation.”

Nardi said the council welcomes the Prime Minister’s comments in relation to a potential review of security arrangements.

“We stand ready to engage on any relevant public policy and security issues,” he said.