Data from software company Vend found that retail sales in Melbourne dropped by 33% over the past weekend, compared to an average weekend for retailers.
And sales on the Friday public holiday were 18% lower than usual.
The data confirms concerns put forward by retail groups ahead of the weekend.
These figures are similar to last year, when sales decreased by 16% on the Friday before the Grand Final compared to an average Friday.
Vend country manager Dave Scheine said the results were unsurprising.
“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.
“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%.
While fashion and apparel stores saw the biggest drop, with sales down 61% on an average Friday. Specialty food and drink stores saw a 26% drop, and homewares and gifts had sales decrease by 15%.
“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,” Scheine said.
“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.”
Originally posted on Ragtrader