While the housing market is absolutely on fire, the same cannot necessarily be said for the retail market in Brisbane. According to industry reports, Brisbane recorded a retail property vacancy rate of 18.9% in H1 2022. Though that might sound discouraging, according to Herron Todd White, Brisbane’s retail economy and therefore retail property is on its way back to its best.

What Have Been The Challenges?

The 18.9% vacancy rate reported in H1 of the year, of retail properties in Brisbane is mainly due to three mitigating factors.


The lingering presence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 rolled back suspected openings for certain businesses – and therefore their predicted profits.


High flooding in low-lying areas provided fresh challenges to businesses looking to occupy new spaces, or reopen old ones shuttered by COVID-19 protocols.

Financial Relief Stoppage:

As COVID-19 began to wind down in severity, Federal and State governments ended their financial support for small businesses – this will have significantly hurt businesses that came to rely upon that help during the pandemic.

Things Are Looking Up

However, despite the relatively-high vacancy rate, things are beginning to look up in Brisbane – particularly in the Central Business District, as students and foreign workers return to the country, and so, too, do the tourists. This means that there’s plenty of new opportunities within the empty buildings for food and beverage businesses that are looking to expand, perhaps utilising some of their Federal and State government funding from COVID-19 to take action on long-planned expansion.

Thanks to the vote-of-confidence from luxurious retailers like leather-goods giant Louis Vuitton opening a store in Queen’s Plaza, many other major retailers are seeing that as a good sign for the rejuvenation of the CBD to a bustling hub for retailers of all stripes.

All hope is not lost for Brisbane’s Central Business District’s retail spaces and with COVID-19 winding down (again), new opportunities for different types of retailers, H2 of 2022 looks like an opportunity for retail to bounce back.