(5pm, Thursday 4 September 2014, Metro St James CafÃ©)
Thank you, Melissa [Hoyer]. Hello, everyone. Welcome to Vogue Fashion's Night Out for 2014.
For most of us, a spot of retail therapy can be great fun, and a personal boost if you're feeling low.
It also happens to be a key component of the City's economy, and vital to our status as a global city especially as Sydney is Australia's premier retail destination, and retail makes up over one-third of all businesses in our City, employing over 15 per cent of our workforce.
It has an estimated value of over $3 billion a year but it faces challenges, especially from on-line merchandising.
So in 2009 we introduced Sydney is Fashion, an umbrella marketing campaign to support Vogue Fashion's Night Out and the Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival, and last year involved over 600 retailers and 175,000 shoppers.
It is a fabulous celebration of glamour, fashion, shopping and fun.
This year, it includes Pitt Street Mall, Martin Place, David Jones, the QVB and Strand Arcade, and George, Castlereagh and Market Streets.
It's a great Sydney event, which the City is proud to support.
So congratulations to Edwina McCann and everyone at Vogue, and thank you to all the retailers and partners here tonight for your support. It's the power of your combined efforts that creates our vibrant retail community so important to the Sydney CBD.
Thank you all.