Office workers in Australian cities are forking out an average of $11,000 a year while at work, according to a survey from consulting firm Urbis.
On average, workers spend $230 a week in retail shops during their working week, with $76 per week spent on food and drinks. Most of this spending happens in the middle of the day, with 84% of workers opting to buy their lunches during the week.
The survey of 3700 office workers also found 97% of workers buy something before, during or after work and 30% will buy clothing or footwear during the week.
Having an ATM close to the workplace topped the workers’ list of ‘must haves’, with food courts, quality coffee shops, supermarkets and cafes among the other most desired facilities.
And it appears workers still like to leave their desks during the day, with just 10% of respondents reporting spending money online while at work.
Overall, Urbis estimates city office workers spend a whopping $10 billion a year on retail goods and services during their working weeks.
Simon Rumbold, director of economics and market research at Urbis, told SmartCompany the most surprising result from the survey was the “sheer amount of money people are spending, which is much higher than we, or anyone else, assumed previously”.
“This is the first time an attempt has been made to measure this market and it is a $10 billion market,” he says.
Rumbold says the purchasing habits of city workers are driving much of the retail development in Australian CBDs and there are opportunities for small businesses looking to tap into this lucrative market.
“Opening hours for stores is important,” says Rumbold. “Businesses should be aware people shop before work, mainly for food and beverages. People buy breakfast on the way to work so these stores should be opening at 7.30am.”
“Shopping after work is also significant and retailers should be conscious of this,” he says. “Historically cafes have closed at three or four in the afternoon but that is no longer a great idea.”
“Locating businesses within large office buildings, or directly below them, is also worth looking out for,” says Rumbold.
However, Rumbold says it’s important not to forget those who like to shop on the weekend, with many people now choosing to live in the CBD.
“Businesses need to be alive to all the opportunities,” he says.