Christmas shoppers and bargain hunters are being urged to come to the city for Black Friday deals and Shop the City sales to support local businesses and help them bounce back from COVID-19 restrictions.
The Black Friday event today is tipped to be the biggest shopping day of the year, while Shop the City offers four days of special in-store events and 200 exclusive offers from today, Friday 27 to Monday 30 November.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the City of Melbourne is pulling out all stops to welcome shoppers back to support local businesses and keep Melburnians in jobs during this critical trading period.
“Inner city retailers have been doing it tough, so we’re putting our best foot forward to ensure Melbourne is a destination for Christmas shopping, end of year festivities and summer events,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Black Friday has become one of the biggest shopping occasions of the year, and with months of online shopping behind us, there’s never been a better time to head into the city and enjoy the atmosphere.
“A bumper calendar of COVID-safe activities is in full swing with the Christmas festival kicking off today, Melbourne Fashion Week underway and Melbourne Music Week Extended launching next week.
“My message to all Victorians is don’t miss out – the city is looking glorious with magnificent floral displays and Christmas decorations, buskers filling the streets with sound and outdoor dining taking over footpaths, car parking spaces and laneways.”
During stage four lockdowns, daily entertainment spending in the Melbourne CBD including cafes and restaurants was around 96 per cent lower than the same time the previous year, and daily retail spending was around 85 per cent lower.
The Lord Mayor said this was a make or break period for inner city retailers and hospitality venues.
“In an online survey we did with 600 local businesses in October, 45 per cent said their business was under immense stress,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our research shows that prior to COVID-19, Melbourne’s restaurants, festivals, events and concerts were the top draw cards bringing people to the city. The city offers a unique experience that you don’t get at mega shopping malls and we know that people miss the quality of our food, shopping and entertainment.”
The Shop the City bonanza involves boutique and major retailers including Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne, QV Melbourne, The Strand, St. Collins Lane, Spencer Outlet Centre and District Docklands.
The City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government are supporting central city reactivation through a $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund.