Sydney is Australia’s premier destination for shopping and the experience of consumers in the city centre is a key attribute of our global status.


Why we’re doing this

The retail sector is the foundation of our CBD and village main streets that attract many visitors to our city.

It represents more than 7,320 businesses from around 23,510 in our area and the sector is a major employer that makes an important contribution to the local economy.

In 2017, retail-related businesses made up 35.3% of all businesses in the local area employing 66,169 workers, representing 15.14% of our workforce – compared to the national average of 10.7%.

It is a diverse industry that ranges from department stores and major shopping complexes through to regular market stallholders and pop-up stores.

Businesses in the retail sector may be defined according to the market segment they target from high-end, mid-range, niche and tourist retail to hospitality businesses and retailers meeting the day-to-day needs of residents, workers and visitors.

Action areas

  • Our role with the retail sector is to focus on enhancing the experience of shoppers through investing in high-quality public places and infrastructure.
  • Our aim is to remove barriers for business, share information and to help businesses to work together.
  • We also deliver programs and services to build skills, resilience and expertise so that small business operators are better equipped to remain commercially viable and sustainable.
  • The challenges facing the sector affect the traditional bricks and mortar retailers, large and small, and point to the need for strategies and action plans to enhance their competitiveness in an era of ever-increasing competition.

How we can achieve this

Our retail action plan has been developed to support local businesses and encourage new jobs in the sector.

The action plan outlines how we'll work with industry and government partners over the next 10 years to help the sector develop and grow.

Initiatives and marketing campaigns

We support the local retail sector through grants and sponsorships offered throughout the year.  We also partner with major drawcard projects such as Vogue American Express Fashion’s Night Out, Sydney’s biggest annual shopping event. This event brings fashion shows, exclusive shopping offers, music performances and much more to our city centre each year in October.

A calendar of business support programs aim to upskill, transform and connect our retail business community. The yearly schedule includes the business innovation program and the Reboot webinar series. Our Sydney Streets initiative transforms villages into spaces for walking, shopping and dining with a series of special events. Road closures across 7 locations throughout the year encourage high street businesses to activate in-store or trade outdoors.