Shoes maker Footwear makers, including the footwear and fashion companies, have urged shoppers to “be more cautious” in the future after a spate of deadly incidents in Australia.
The makers said they would be “more cautious” about buying products from overseas in an effort to reduce the number of such incidents.
Footwear industry leaders said in a statement the safety of Australian shoppers was their top priority.
The statement from the Association of Footwear Manufacturers said the association was “notifying its members that we have observed an increase in the number and frequency of incidents and incidents in recent weeks”.
The association said it was concerned by the number, nature and seriousness of incidents in the community.
Footpaths, gardens, parks, community groups, businesses and recreational sites were also the focus of the association.
It said it hoped that members would take the information they received “very seriously”.
The statement also said the “very high level of concern” among its members had been “significantly heightened”.
“As we know, many Australians are concerned about the impact that the introduction of this technology will have on the safety and wellbeing of our nation’s footpaths and gardens, on our beaches, and on the quality of our communities,” it said.
Footware, footwear and footwear manufacturers are expected to announce a new set of safety guidelines for 2018 that include recommendations on how retailers should store and handle products.
Footeathers Australia president Nick Waddell said the industry was already working with the Government on the guidelines.
“We know we’re going in a very difficult time for retailers, but we’re doing our best to do the best we can,” Mr Waddel said.
“There’s a lot of pressure on us, and we need to be doing all the right things.”
Mr Wadell said retailers were taking the threat of the “cyber virus” seriously and had also been working with government and police.
“Our advice is to be cautious and to be mindful of the safety, the wellbeing and the environment,” he said.
‘It’s too soon’ The Footwear Association also said that the Australian public was “unable to be certain” about whether the introduction had caused an increase.
“The evidence that we’re getting is that this is a really scary situation,” Mr O’Connell said.
He said retailers had had to make adjustments in the past.
“What they’re doing now is making sure that we don’t have the same problems that we had before, and the people who were buying the product were not necessarily the same people that were buying products that were potentially harmful,” he added.
Mr Wadhly said the rise in the incidents had been happening in the last few weeks and that there was no way for retailers to know how many were responsible for each incident.
“I would say it’s too early to say, it’s probably too soon to say,” he told 7.30.
“It’s going to take a while for us to know exactly how many of these incidents we have, and that’s what we need retailers to do.”
Footwear manufacturers also urged the public to keep an eye out for the number plates of the products they were buying.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it had received about 4,000 reports about potential breaches of the Competition and Market Act in the period from September 1 to October 31.
Footgear, footwear, footwear brands and footwear suppliers have been contacted for comment.
The ACCC said it received about 300 complaints about alleged breaches of consumer protection laws.
It also said it “will continue to closely monitor” breaches of competition law, including its own rules, by businesses and other groups.