Kmart has explained why it does not sell Australia Day merchandise.
The company has explained that it does not stock Australia Day-specific products to ensure it is “inclusive and respectful” to all.
“At Kmart we do not sell any merchandise that is specific to Australia Day,” a company spokesperson told 7NEWS.
“However, customers who shop with us can find a number of products year-round that feature Australiana designs with Australian animals, flora and fauna, as well as educational materials.
“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.”
The spokesperson added that Kmart employees have been given the option to work on January 26 if they choose.
Want to stream your news? Flash lets you stream 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer available for a limited time only >
The news comes after a Kmart customer slammed the retailer for not selling Australia Day products.
Taking to Facebook, the Sydney shopper asked the store to “please explain” why there are no Australia Day themed “clothes, decorations and plates”.
“We are having an Australia Day function next week and we visited our local store (Penrith) to get clothes, decorations and plates etc to celebrate our National Day,” they wrote.
“Imagine my surprise when the store had no Australia Day merchandise (apart from a few serviettes and paper plates hidden in the party section).
“Would you please explain why Kmart is not stocking Australia Day merchandise?
“Please do not say they do not have the room as they have no trouble finding room for the American custom of Halloween.”
Facebook posts from 2014 to 2016 show the store once promoted Australia Day themed items – including bikinis, dresses, shorts and shirts.
In recent years, there have been calls to move Australia Day to a different date or abolish the public holiday altogether.
The day signifies the beginning of the British colony in Australia but is seen as a day of mourning for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, who refer to January 26 as Invasion Day.
Controversy surrounding the national day has led several businesses to abandon plans to sell Australia Day items.