While the Grand Final boosted Melbourne’s population considerably over the weekend, despite increased foot traffic, retail sales dropped by 33 per cent as single-minded fans flocked to the footy.
While a public holiday can mean an increase in sales for retailers, data from leading retail software company Vend has found that retail sales on the Friday public holiday in Mlebourne were 18 per cent lower than usual and weekend trade was a third lower than average.
“Melbourne has a world-renowned retail scene and our independent retailers are vital to the culture and community of our high streets. But weekends like this with big drops in sales are often common-place for local retailers and can really hit them hard,” says Dave Scheine, APAC Country Manager for Vend.
“It’s so important that shoppers think about supporting local stores with their spending when they can – such as shopping local in the warm up to Christmas to find unique holiday gifts. We all need to get out there and show our support for the small businesses, creators and artisans in our communities.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Melbourne’s sports stores were the only retailers to see an increase in sales on the Friday public holiday, with sales jumping by 25%. Fashion stores were the hardest hit experiencing a 61 per cent decline on an average Friday’s sales.
“While it’s clear that retailers struggled this weekend, our data did show a silver lining in that there was a significant increase in retail sales on the Thursday before the long weekend,” says Dave.
“Retail sales on Thursday were 20% higher than normal, and were actually at the same level as a usual Friday which is very uncommon. Shoppers were obviously preparing for the long weekend by purchasing more in the lead-up, which is great. Any little lift in spending like that can be a game-changer for our smaller stores.”