It's official - The Age is reporting that cafés, restaurants, food-to-go, and pubs now outnumber shops in the CBD of Melbourne. The statistics were taken from CoM land use data in 2012.
Food venue numbers were up 7% from 2010 while shops declined by 3%. The same trend has been identified in Southbank, North Melbourne, and Carlton while Docklands bucked the trend with 21 extra shops.
There are 135 more food venues than shops in the CBD as discretionary retailers like clothing and footwear leave and are replaced by food. This is part of a worldwide trend that is fueled at least partly by higher city-centre residency.