They were welcoming Ms Flanigan and Melbourne's big return to the office, the long-awaited reopening of the CBD, which has been a virtual ghost town since the beginning of the first-wave lockdown in March last year.
The Bank on Collins was throbbing on Friday according to venue manager Lauren Stanley, but was having a slow Monday as Ms Johnstone and her fellow lunchers dined.
In a sign workers were eager to return to the office, foot traffic in Melbourne's CBD reached its highest level in nine months.
Foot traffic was up 38 per cent compared with the Monday morning peak average for the first three weeks of December, while peak lunchtime pedestrian numbers near Southern Cross Station were up 45 per cent, the City of Melbourne data showed.
Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp said there had been a "fabulous sense" of energy as workers returned to the city, many for the first time in months.
New York (CNN Business) - US retail sales dropped last month, the Commerce Department said Friday, marking the third straight month without any growth.
Retail sales fell 0.7% in December from the month prior.
Some retailers have already reported holiday sales, and the results across the sector have been mixed, highlighting the wide gap between retail's winners and losers in the pandemic.
Target said sales grew 17.2% in November and December compared with last year.
L Brands' sales dropped 7% in November and December compared with the same time last year, the company said.
The second pandemic stimulus package signed at the end of last month should help retail sales recover in January and throughout the first quarter of 2021, economists at Morgan Stanley projected in a research report this week.
The Australian sharemarket closed lower for the week on Friday with Afterpay's record high share price not able to offset losses from the major miners and other blue chip stocks.
The major miners led the losses for the local market as the price of iron ore dipped slightly through the week.
PolyNovo shares plunged 28 per cent to $2.54 after revealing that second-quarter revenue growth for its skin regeneration technology had slowed as hospital capacity was filled by surging COVID-19 cases.
Afterpay shares also rose after Morgan Stanley raised the company's price target, helping it climb 14.8 per cent to a record high of $133.15.
Afterpay has cemented its status as growth star on the Australian sharemarket, overtaking Telstra to become the 13th-largest stock by market capitalisation.
The Australian sharemarket closed lower this week as Afterpay's record high share price couldn't offset losses from the major miners and other blue chips.