Bring the buzz back to CBD shopping

CBDs have borne the brunt of COVID-19 restrictions with less people working and travelling to city centres. Many local governments and organisations are getting behind CBD event strategies to bring the buzz back. 

With less crowds likely in city locations, now’s a great time for retailers to promote their CBD stores as a safe Christmas shopping destination.  


  • Remind your customers that your CBD stores are COVID-safe, open for businesses and may offer a lower density shopping option.
  • Localise transport information – Perceptions about transport challenges can be a CBD deterrent.With lower visitor numbers, in reality there are more parking and public transport options than usual for this time of year: Check out our easy access – customer transport and parking options blog for more information about this) as well as any discounts, sales or entertainment that customers would be interested in knowing about.
  • Get involved in campaigns – Across the country we have seen campaigns emerge to support CBD areas – here is Victoria’s ‘Let’s Melbourne Again’ campaign – with ARA members such as 7-Eleven, Australia Post, Coles, McDonalds, Myer and Officeworks involved.
    Recently the NSW Government announced $100 worth of vouchers to every adult under the ‘Out and About’ scheme to support the entertainment and hospitality sector – rolling out in December in Sydney’s CBD. 
  • Work together with your neighbours – A great way to encourage shoppers into the CBD is by working with other retailers and businesses to create a fun, festive vibe. Whether it be exclusive deals, shared entertainment or food and beverage partnerships, this Christmas presents a unique opportunity to align with your neighbours to create synergy within your local area.

    Here’s some thought starters: 

  • If you have a frontage shared by a few businesses, explore working together to organise entertainment  
  • Is your shop next to a cafe? Offer your customers a free coffee and pastry for every $100 spent at your store 
  • Offer customers exclusive gift wrapping at a shared pop up stall 


MST Marquee – The impact of migration on retail

Retail businesses setting budgets and forecasting are understandably finding it difficult to navigate the uncertain economic conditions. Our research can help educate retailers about industry profitability benchmarks, wage growth and inventory levels, so that businesses can better prepare for the future.

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