I have 4 shops in Melbourne, two in Westfield centres and two on the high street.
Shopper traffic in the shopping centres is noticeably lower now than during any of the Melbourne lockdowns, but we are not in lockdown right now. Traffic is not only down in centres in which I have shops but others, too, from what retailer colleagues tell me. This is why plenty of retailers are on reduced hours – there’s not enough revenue to cover overheads, like wages.
Out on the high street, traffic is good as are sales. But shoppers are nervous, that’s what they say. In think that nervousness is a reason we are not seeing the retail sales surge like we did in the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns. back then people had government support funding available and they were funding dealing with the shift in how they work and live. Today, there is no government support and they are used to living and working in this situation.
Ten days ago we had the ANZ EFTPOS data indicating a significant contraction in shopping. Plenty of retailers support that with their own data and their first-hand observations, especially in shopping centres where the hit is hardest.
The experience is a reminder of the value of online and being able to transact with those not prepared to leave home, because online remains strong, and it enables me to reach people way beyond my local community.