Kmart has been praised for not selling Australia Day items ahead of January 26
| Last updated
Kmart has been praised for not selling Australian Day merchandise ahead of January 26 to respect First Nations people.
The company revealed that it would buck the trend of selling things covered in the Aussie flag to ensure it's ‘inclusive and respectful’ to all, as per 7NEWS.
A spokesperson for Kmart told the outlet that while they would not distribute these items, ‘customers who shop with us can find a number of products year-round that feature Australiana designs’.
They continued: “We respect that the 26th of January means different things to different people and we aim to foster an environment that is inclusive and respectful of both our customers and teams.
“It is for this reason that we will also be giving all of our team members the choice of whether or not they work that day, with the option to substitute for another day.”
They added that they were also one of the major corporations this year to give their staff the option of working on Australia Day despite it being a public holiday.
The move has been met with fierce praise.
Fashion label Clothing The Gaps, which celebrates Aboriginal and Indigenous culture, praised the store.
They wrote via Instagram: “Good to hear @kmartaus making a decision to dump Australia Day products in store. Symbolism matters and in Jan and the lead up to Invasion day it really takes a toil on a lot of mob seeing so much ‘Aussie’ pride merchandise.”
However, while it’s a step in the right direction, they acknowledged the company had much more work to do to encourage ‘systemic organisational change’.
Many on Twitter also gave the store a big thumbs up, as one person wrote: “Thank you @Kmart_Australia for recognising and supporting our diverse community and for being a part of the future! #changethedate.”
While another shared: "Well done @Kmart_Australia."
The controversy surrounding the day has even sparked a national debate about whether the date should be moved.
According to data obtained by ABC, 28 per cent of surveyed participants said they agreed to change the date in 2019.
However, in 2021, that number jumped up to 39 per cent.
But Ruby Wharton, a member of the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance and the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, has proposed to scrap the day altogether.
She told Clothing The Gaps: “It’s important to understand that colonialism is still ongoing.
"Having an alternative date will still mean they are celebrating the colonial project here in so-called Australia.”