Sunny Shops the City 

By Sunny Liu

The Melbourne CBD’s retail precinct came alive, or even livelier, during the one-day shopping spree Shop the City on May 17. 

More than 1000 shops at Melbourne Central, Emporium, QV Melbourne, GPO, The Strand and Bourke St mall opened from 10am-10pm for customers to take advantage of more than 300 retail offers and discounts, the best deal they could get on a chilly, gloomy Wednesday in May.

As a shopping enthusiast, I was also lured to join the 12-hour shopping marathon after work. Upon arriving at Melbourne Central, it was clear that Shop the City was comparable to Boxing Day.

People formed a 50m line that stretched from Emporium to Melbourne Central over the walk bridge for a pop-up event.

Retail stores put on extra racks and shelves of on-sale items and I was elated when a pair of high-heel boots I have been wanting for weeks were 20 per cent off.

At the shoe store, I was sandwiched between two shoppers and it took my best effort to push my way to the cashier to pay for the boots that I feared would get snapped up by another fanatic customer.

Customers enjoyed free parking at QV from 5pm to midnight, bonus gifts at The Strand and free algae blue lattes at Top Shop.

The retail blocks were buzzing with patrons and bright, welcoming sale signage put up by retailers as well as DJs adding a party vibe to the shopping carnival.

QV also installed neon light displays and transformed its podium and laneways into a Neon Light Garden. The artworks were created by artist Carla O’Brien, whose work has also been featured during White Night Melbourne.

Driver Lane at The Strand was turned into Snow Lane with snowflakes falling from above, creating the perfect background for an eye-catching Instagram photo.

Shop the City has certainly proven to be a success and will help more CBD shoppers empty their wallets next year.

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