CITY workers, residents and students spent $3.03 billion on retail and hospitality within the City of Melbourne in 2015, an increase of 16 per cent since 2013, according to the newly-released Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy 2013-2017 Year 3 Report.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the new figures show the city's growing number of city residents spent $1.34 billion annually on shopping and dining out, an increase of 19 per cent since 2013, while city workers spent $1.17 billion, a 13 per cent increase since 2013.
"Our retail and hospitality sectors are the envy of the world. There is no better city in which to eat out, shop and explore than Melbourne; the world's most liveable city," the Lord Mayor said.
"Since 2006, we have had more than 800 new hospitality businesses open in the city: that's more than one café, restaurant or bar opening every week. In terms of retail, our July 2016 retail vacancy rate was the lowest in five years at 2.4 per cent. Everyone wants a piece of Melbourne.
"Our booming tourism industry has also contributed to this record spending growth. We welcomed 11.3 million visitors in 2015-2016, including a 9.3 per cent increase in international overnight visitors.''
As part of the strategy, the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government commissioned research into the spending habits of city workers and students on work and study days. It tracked any changes since the original 2014 study. The survey revealed:
- 95 per cent of workers buy their lunch at least once a fortnight: up from 85 per cent in 2014;
- 22 per cent of workers now spend $15 to 20 for lunch: up from 6 per cent since 2014;
- 80 per cent are willing to travel up to three blocks to buy their lunch or shop; and
- Increased shopping outside traditional business hours: 44 per cent of workers shop after they have clocked off and seven per cent of workers shop before work.
The research identified new retail and hospitality opportunities which will be shared with businesses and also be used by the City of Melbourne to develop effective campaigns and business support programs.
More information about the Melbourne Retail and Hospitality Strategy 2013-2017 is available from the City of Melbourne website at <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/business/doing-business/sectors/retail-hospitality/Pages/retail-and-hospitality-strategy-2013-17.aspx>.