Sunday, July 21, 2024

Twilight trading to cash in on more customers in Melbourne

Retailers will be encouraged to tailor their opening hours to reach more customers as the sun sets, following new research commissioned by the City of Melbourne Council.

Council says the study, produced by the Australian Retailers Association, revealed an opportunity for retailers to cash in on changing consumer behaviours – favouring twilight hours.

Research showed a strong demand amongst customers wanting to shop after businesses have closed their doors.

The highest discrepancy between foot traffic and trading hours was on Friday from 7pm to 9pm, Saturday evenings between 5pm and 9pm, and Monday to Wednesday evenings from 5pm to 7pm.

“Melbourne’s twilight economy is booming – with foot traffic increasing in the city by up to 35% after 6pm, as Melburnians clock off and make the most of our world-class retail, food and entertainment,” said Lord Mayor, Sally Capp.

“We’re encouraging city retailers to take full advantage of this change in consumer behaviour – shifting their opening hours to reflect when city visitors want to shop.

“We’ll continue to support businesses with the latest data to embrace the city’s new rhythm, boost the local economy and improve the visitor experience.”

More than half of retailers surveyed supported a change to core trading hours – which would see retailers open for business from 10am to 7pm Sunday to Wednesday, and 10am to 9pm Thursday to Saturday.

The Twilight Trade initiative will shine a spotlight on local and major retailers trading after 5pm – bolstering the city’s after-hours appeal.

“Melbourne’s vibrant twilight and night-time economy has benefitted other industries and we want to make sure city retailers can also take advantage of that increased customer demand,” said City Activation portfolio lead Councillor, Roshena Campbell.

“Entertainment spending – much of it after-hours – is up 60% since 2019. We’re supporting our retailers to trade into the evening so they can also tap into this market.”

City traders can register their interest in becoming a twilight trader online via the Australian Retailers Association.

“We know that global shopping destinations seamlessly weave retail into the fabric of city life and use retail as a bridge between the daytime and night-time economy,” said Australian Retailers Association CEO, Paul Zahra.

“The research we’ve done clearly defines a shift in consumer behaviour, meaning there is now more unmet demand for retailers after work than before work.

“That’s why we are encouraging retailers to embrace twilight trading hours – to help drive sales, to create a more vibrant retail experience after 5pm and cement Melbourne’s standing as Australia’s premier shopping destination.”

Online information sessions will be held to inform retailers about the benefits, and businesses will also be supported by a marketing campaign targeting city visitors and students.

Twilight Trade is supported by the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a $200 million partnership between the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.

For more information visit the Australian Retailers Association.

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