THE CBD's retail vacancy rate rose marginally over Christmas but the impact was limited by the popularity of pop-up stores, research from Knight Frank shows.
The city's retail vacancy rate rose from 2.4 per cent to 2.5 per cent over the six months to January.
Street fronts recorded a rise in vacancies but vacancies for city shopping centres fell to the lowest level in five years, Knight Frank's retail leasing director, Gary Loo, said. "There was significant demand for pop-ups leading to the Christmas period," he said.
Pop-ups stores encouraged tenants to try out a mainstream retail space for their products in a low-cost, low-risk way, he said. They contributed to the overall vacancy rate for shopping centres falling from 3.1 to 1.6 per cent.
Vacancies fell at the GPO and Australia on Collins, while Melbourne Central has no free space.
Clothing and footwear retailers still dominate, with 29.2 per cent of retail space. Food venues are not far behind with 29.1 per cent, Mr Loo said.
The moratorium on late-night liquor licences has crimped demand from bar operators.
Retail rents have remained stable with prime rents ranging from $2500 to $7000 per square metre and secondary from $800 to $1500 per square metre, he said.