Encouraging signs: Retail sales in Sydney and Melbourne on the up

Encouraging signs: Retail sales in Sydney and Melbourne on the up

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Things are looking better for Sydney and Melbourne’s CBDs as workers head back to the office, with sales in both cities up 9 and 5 per cent respectively last week compared to the week prior according to Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) merchant terminal data.

The results were achieved despite the weather conditions on the nation’s east coast, with most of the sales growth witnessed across retail businesses.

Week on week, Sydney CBD businesses saw a 30 per cent jump in retail sales, and Melbourne’s retail sales grew by 31 per cent.

CBA group executive, business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said he was encouraged by the positive signs but cautioned the sales growth might still be impacted by the wet weather.

“It is encouraging to see spending in Australia’s largest capital cities on the up and we hope to see this trend continue as more people start coming back into city centres over the coming weeks and months,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

“We know current weather conditions will impact this activity in the CBDs, especially as Sydney residents and commuters navigate the flash flooding we’ve seen over the past few days.”

Vacy-Lyle admitted the story was different in Queensland, where in the Brisbane CBD many shops were closed and remained focused on recovery and cleanup.

“More broadly, we know areas across Queensland and New South Wales will continue to navigate the devastating impacts of major flooding for the foreseeable future, and for those customers we are here to help,” Mr Vacy-Lyle said.

“We encourage our business customers to reach out to us, when they are ready to do so, to discuss their individual circumstances and what might be suitable for their needs.”

Where Sydneysiders were spending their money in the CBD:

  • Florists (up 55 per cent)
  • Stationary and office supplies (up 55 per cent)
  • Cosmetic stores (up 38 per cent)
  • Clothing alterations services (up 29 per cent)
  • Bars and pubs (up 15 per cent)

Where Melburnians were spending in the CBD:

  • Jewellery and watch stores (up 65 per cent)
  • Electronic sales (up 30 per cent)
  • Fast food restaurants (up 11 per cent)
  • Gifts, cards and novelty stores (up 10 per cent)
  • Beauty and barber shops (up 7 per cent)
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