An inconvenient truth? As forecast, Brisbane's CBD saw a significant decline

19 November 2014

The weekend prior to the G20 summit (8-9 November), the Australian Retail Index showed:

  • Positive growth in the Brisbane CBD with a 10.5% growth on the previous weekend’s trade
  • The greater Brisbane Metro region, spanning an additional 5km from the CBD, grew 9.4%.

For the G20 Weekend (15-16 November), the Index shows a 29.1% decline in sales for Brisbane’s CBD and a 37.1% slump for the Metro.

Simon Scalzo – BDO’s National Leader, Retail – said “The results are as expected. Many shops were closed for the weekend, and with the stringent security measures - consumers may have opted to steer clear of the metro area.”

“Interestingly, the CBD enjoyed sales growth last week, which suggests consumers may have done their shopping earlier to avoid the inconvenience of coming into the city during the G20 weekend,” Mr Scalzo said.

However, the authorities believe the immediate dip is to be far outweighed by the profiling Brisbane is enjoying on the world stage. Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says the influx of tourists over the next 12 months – as a result of the G20 - will generate a substantial multiplier for Brisbane, particularly retail and hospitality. He values the long-term benefits at $100m1

Drops in overall sales were also experienced across the Gold Coast (-15.3%) and the Sunshine Coast (-3.1%). This, however, may be explained by the heat (over 40 degrees) as consumers may have temporarily relocated to the beach.

Using the Australian Retail Index, BDO will follow-up with a pre-Christmas sales update on 1 December. Stay tuned.

1ABC News 2014, G20 Brisbane: Campbell Newman to push Vladimir Putin for answers over MH17 if they meet at G20, 17 November,