|Residents of Melbourne
take their shopping seriously, this is reflected
in the number of shopping arcades and markets that are scattered
throughout the city.
A few of the arcades are architectural masterpieces
in their own right. Melbourne Central, Lonsdale Street, has a magnificent
glass cone covering the well known Shot Tower, the only feature
remaining from the Lead Pipe & Shot Factory. There are over
200 shops, including several Australian designer outlets and the
Daimaru international department store.
The Block Arcade, Collins Street,
Melbourne’s main shopping street, is an impressive Victorian
building. This is reflected in the shops that sell elegant leatherwear,
couture and glassware.
Nearby is the Royal Arcade, which
includes antique and gift shops. Linked by a footbridge to Melbourne
Central, Myer is a city institution established
over 80 years ago and the largest single department store in Australia.
Next door is David Jones, a department
store famous for its tempting food hall. Many of the department
stores stock typically Australian products and the best goods to
look out for are woollen garments, handcrafted jewellery (particularly
opals), bush gear, woodwork design and ceramics.
The exclusive shops along Toorak Road
present the latest designer labels, while young, independent designers
have outlets on Chapel Street. Crown Entertainment Complex houses
designer boutiques including Versace, Armani and Tiffany & Co.
Shoppers with more bohemian tastes will find Brunswick
Street in Fitzroy a genuine Aladdin’s cave
of clothing shops and gift and book stores. The cake shops of St
Kilda, a traditional German Jewish area, are marvels to behold.
The bayside suburb also features bookshops and trendy cafés.
Melbourne has numerous markets located throughout
the city, although the most outstanding is the Queen Victoria Market,
on Victoria Street. This market was traditionally a place to buy
foodstuffs but it is now potential to buy almost anything in the
various halls and quaint shops.
The market is open Tuesday and Thursday 6.00 am to 2.00 pm, Friday
6.00 am to 6.00 pm, Saturday 6.00 am to 3.00 pm and Sunday 9.00
am to 4.00 pm.
Standard shop opening hours
are 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Saturday with late night opening
on Fridays and, in many cases, Thursdays until 9.00 pm.
Many major department stores and shopping centres are also open
on Sundays and a few supermarkets now open 24 hours daily. On July
1 2000, Australia’s 10 % Goods and Services Tax came into
force, with a resulting overnight increase in prices, price tags
almost always include the Goods and Services Tax.
There are many duty free shops in the city centre,
as well as at the airport. To attain a refund, shoppers must show
their passport and onward ticket upon collection of goods.