News Brief: Feb. 2010
Since 1996, the number of vacant shops in Vienna’s First District has increased from three to seven percent, according to a recent study of 2,900 Viennese retail businesses and service companies conducted by Gerhard Hatz of the University of Vienna’s Department of Geography and Regional Research.
The study shows that the "Textilviertel" ("Textiles Quarter") around St. Ruprecht’s Church near Schwedenplatz has been affected the most: One-quarter of all stores in the area are unused at the moment. Particularly businesses which do not fit into the city’s new "entertainment scheme" – like bookshops, travel bureaus and bank offices – have moved away over the years. Only the sectors of arts and crafts and antiques have remained steady.
Overall, the trend is toward fewer but bigger stores in Vienna’s Inner City. In addition, the range of products offered has become more limited. Today, 80 percent of the 1st District-shops fall into the category "fashion and style" – compared to 60 percent in 1996. In the same period the number of restaurants and bars has also increased by one fifth.