Aussies are heading back to shopping centres in high numbers as coronavirus restrictions start to ease

  • Research from Roy Morgan found Aussies are returning to shopping centres as coronavirus restrictions ease around the country.
  • Foot traffic has steadily increased in Melbourne and Sydney shopping centres since the Easter long weekend.
  • Those returning are mostly younger, socially aware and culturally diverse group of people the company calls ‘metrotechs’.

More people are heading into shopping centres as coronavirus restrictions ease in Australia.

Roy Morgan, together with mobile data solutions company UberMedia, gathered data from tens of thousands of mobile devices to see how Aussies are moving as the restrictions ease. The movement data tracked the amount of foot traffic as well as the types of people returning to shopping centres in Sydney and Melbourne in 2020.

The research found that while foot traffic fell during the Easter long weekend in April, it has picked up every seek since. The usual spike in weekend foot traffic has returned in May as more people head back down to shopping centres.

For example, at the Bondi Westfield on Sunday April 12, 94 devices were identified while on Sunday May 24, that had jumped to 497. Over in Melbourne, the Chadstone shopping centre on Friday April 10 had 59 devices, while on Sunday May 24 that rose to 1,167.

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said in a statement that Australia’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has allowed us to come out of restrictions earlier than expected.

“The latest aggregated data on movement shows an increase over the last few weeks as restrictions on movement have gradually been relaxed,” she said.

In New South Wales, restaurants and pubs have been allowed to have up to 10 dine in customers from May 15. From June 1, that limit will increase to 50 customers. Meanwhile in Victoria, restaurants will be allowed 20 dine-in guests from June 1.

Levine said most of the people heading back to shopping centres are younger, socially aware and culturally diverse group of people called ‘metrotechs’. This group of people are career-focused, love the latest tech and are “willing to spend big” in the city.

Also returning to shopping centres are people from the ‘leading lifestyles’ group, who focus on success, achievement and family, and enjoy cultured living.

Levine added that businesses can benefit from understanding these consumer behaviours.

“With bricks-and mortar-retailers facing the double challenge of managing social distancing logistics and luring back customers who have become accustomed to shopping online, understanding the evolving behavioural patterns of different demographic and psychographic segments of Australia’s population will be key to reaping the benefits of a newly re-opened post-pandemic world,” she said.

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