Retail and hospitality shops reopening and bringing back buzz

The number of closed retail and hospitality shops in the City of Melbourne has decreased in the first three months of the year as our economic recovery continues.

​A City of Melbourne survey shows that the number of premises now open and operating has increased by seven per cent in the first quarter of this year.

By the end of March, 78 per cent of shops are now operating compared to 71 per cent in December. Only seven per cent of shops are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 compared to 15 per cent in December.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the buzz is returning to Melbourne as our economic recovery continues, but ongoing support is needed to ensure local businesses begin thriving again.

“Every shop that reopens after the pandemic means more Melburnians back at work and it is a clear sign of confidence in the long-term economic future of our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“However, we know the challenges many local businesses still face after enduring the toughest trading conditions in living memory.

“Pedestrian data shows the city is still about half as busy compared with an average weekday before the pandemic.

“Our city businesses are critical to the fabric of our city and we all need to work together to ensure they help our city return to its vibrant and thriving best.”

City of Melbourne staff visited retail and hospitality businesses across the central city and in suburbs such as Docklands, Carlton, North Melbourne and Southbank. The results are as the follows:



Nov – Dec 20205050 out of 689815 per cent14 per cent71 per cent
Jan – Feb 20215924 out of 689811 per cent15 per cent74 per cent
March 20217698 out of 8696*7 per cent14 per cent78 per cent

*Please note: The total number of retail and hospitality businesses surveyed has expanded in March to include shops in gallerias, arcades and shopping centres as well street-facing businesses.

City Activation portfolio lead, Councillor Roshena Campbell, said the City of Melbourne was committed to collecting the most accurate and up-to-date data to ensure our advocacy efforts were targeted effectively.

“Council officers have been pounding the pavement to monitor the impacts on COVID-19 on our retail and hospitality businesses,” Cr Campbell said.

“This data is critical so we can respond quickly and provide support to help businesses reopen and keep operating in a viable way.

“The retail sector normally contributes $2.1 billion to the City of Melbourne’s economy, so getting cash registers ringing in our retail stores is key to our economic recovery.

“We continue to support city businesses with extra marketing support to welcome workers back and encourage Melburnians to rediscover what’s on offer

“We are investing in our city’s economic recovery through the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund in partnership with the Victorian Government.”

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