Sunday, 8 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds -8/12/2019

A Trader from the Upper Market says he loves the official description for our Christmas Trading hours on the Tuesday before Christmas “5AM Until Sold Out” but wonders if he can stay on his stall for 3 weeks.

One of our local street beggars proclaimed “good business” on Saturday morning as shoppers spread the Christmas cheer – made a few of our Traders jealous.

Has anyone noticed the fancy little electric cart for on the spot garbage recycling doing the rounds of the market? One Trader commented – “Even the old Vic Market can be high-tech and sustainable.”

A Trader says he received a notice from a Trader group asking for support over the possible closure of Queen St. to traffic. He wasn’t sure if the group was for or against the proposal.

Another Trader has suggested we close off Peel St. between Victoria St. and the Dudley St. roundabout so the top end of the market can have its own pedestrian mall.

A Trader tells us that Sunday morning trade was his worst in 14 years, and considering we are leading in to Christmas, he is worried.

From the “We have too much spare thinking time” file – a Trader is wondering if bananas could be thrown like boomerangs as an aid to hunting customers? Not sure if he wanted to attract or disable them.

A Trader is very impressed that the QVM website has a Chinese translation option and it is not just for the basics like trading hours. A range of information, including trader and business descriptions is translated for Chinese speaking customers.

A Trader who was a little sceptical of our new trading hours was keeping a record of sales after 2:00pm and says Thursday this week produced his first real boost with a number of worthwhile sales between 2:00 and 3:00.

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week“Did you hear that Santa has taken to acting. He has great stage presents.”

And finally this prophetic quote from one of our Traders - “We are really starting all over again in retail. These times are both exciting and scary. If my finances hold out I might enjoy it.”

Shop & Racks For Sale

Andrew Bertuleit is selling his F Shed shop (not his business) and is seeking enquiries from interested parties. Andrew is vacating F Shed Shop 3 in May 2020 and you can contact him on 0429 133 133 or by emailing
Lease allocations are subject to management approval.

Mino Voloder has some brand new racks for sale at well below normal price. Ring Mino on 0425 769 075.

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2019
1. Woolworths to defend employee “under payment” claims.
2. Australian distillery Four Pillars Gin wins 2019 International Gin Producer of the Year in London.
3. Chadstone Shopping Centre plans $685m expansion.
4. Tech & supplements top performers in Amazon Black Friday sale.
5. Caltex rejects service station offer from Canadian suitor.
6. The Iconic to focus on sustainability.
7. Smith’s creates Lamington flavoured chip.
8. Australian fashion retailer, Bardot, enters voluntary administration due to a ‘highly cluttered’ and ‘increasingly discount-driven market’.
9. Fashion chain, Glue, opens its biggest store yet.
10. Coles to fork out more of milk profits to farmers following ACCC intervention.
11. Bunnings online marketplace selling appliances and bedding.
12. Asia expected to account for 45% of global retail sales in 2020.

Articles Worth A Read:
The Art Of Retailing -

The Dangers Of Black Friday -

Social Conscience In Retailing -

Concern Over Christmas Buying In 2019

Research by PayPal suggests that changing buying patterns will lead to an overall lower spend this Christmas.

Some key points are:
1. Likely 20% reduction in spending on Christmas.
2. An emphasis on supporting causes like drought relief, mental health, and rural fire services.
3. 73% of Australian consumers prefer Australian made.
4. Kris Kringle has become a staple in one third of Australian families, resulting in fewer gifts.
5. Economic downturn has resulted in more savvy shopping with emphasis on discounts and special events.

Read the full article in Inside Retailing here – Aussies Buying Fewer More Purposeful Gifts

QVM In The News - 8/12/2019

... owner of Gazza's Gourmet Seafood at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market. ... Sydney Fish Market tour guide and educator Alex Stollznow said those ...
Both events will be held at the Queen Victoria Market, the headquarters of the festival in 2020. It's also where you can catch talks and demonstrations ...
The City of Melbourne says it has found work for 15 cleaners who were made redundant after Queen Victoria Market changed cleaning contractors last ...
MFWF at Queen Vic Market
In March 2020, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is making Queen Vic Market its home. Over 10 days, there will be parties, workshops, dinners, ...
A dozen workers at the iconic market have been left devastated at discovering they would be out of a job, just weeks out from Christmas. Three others ...

From The Archives - Funny Shop Signs

This article from July 2015 attracted a big readership and remains on our list of all time popular posts.

Here is a collection of shop signs found on the internet this week. Send us yours, especially if found in the market.


And finally this sign next to a coffee shop tip jar - 
"Thanks a latte."

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 1/12/2019

A number of Traders have commented positively on the news that QVM is to be the hub of next year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. One Trader said ”How could you hold it anywhere else? This is Melbourne’s food place.”

A report this week suggested that students unable to attend school because of illness could send along a robot to record classes. A Trader asks if the idea could be extended to serving at market stalls?

A Trader tells us that while some QVM Traders are urging for longer lease/license periods there are some retailers in the wider retail sector seeking shorter than 5 year terms so they can maintain flexibility.

A number of Traders have received early Christmas cards this week. It turns out that they all came from longtime customers Robert & Maggie who shop most weeks at the market and will soon be retiring to a coastal town in eastern Victoria. Giving Christmas cards is not normal customer behaviour but Robert & Maggie are pretty special. They will be missed.

A Trader returned recently from a trip to Vietnam where he noticed the rise of supermarkets since his last visit. He said food was cheaper outside the supermarkets but consumers seemed to like the price stability and the consistent quality.

One of our food Traders in the upper market got a bit of a shock this week when advised his rent would rise significantly. There can always be a potential for conflict between managements view of the value of a site and a Trader’s view of its profit potential. Let’s hope this one sorts out OK.

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week continues the tape measure theme – “A sad tape measure went to his friend for encouragement saying “I just don’t feel like I measure up….” His friend responded “Don’t worry, you’re just over extended.”

A Trader liked a quote he heard this week which relates to the retail revolution – “There is no path – We are all trailblazers.”

Last week’s article about banning Trader parking outside stalls caused one Trader to comment – “We need an alternative cost effective option and some surety. Remove the current quota system for the market car park, and guarantee all legitimate Traders a spot, and maybe we can live with a fee.”

Is This QVMs Best Ever Brochure?

The QVM Christmas Gift Guide 2019 is a well put together publication that many Traders believe raises the bar on previous promotions.
 Aided by glossy quality paper and printing, this year’s brochure is in a handy format that encourages portability and use.

The photos are professional and the mix of quality products and Traders (great looking Traders at that) seems just right.
 Apparently the take-up by Traders this year was strong, and if the quality of this publication is a guide, we can expect more involvement in future.

A number of Traders have found the brochure useful in advising customers of Christmas options around the market, and one jokes that it would be ideal for disguising mobile phone gaming (absolutely disgraceful - Ed).

If you haven’t seen the Christmas Gift Guide yet we suggest you call at F1 on Queen St. You might also put a note in your diary for next year to make sure your business is part of the promotion.

Latest Retail News – 1/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 1/12/2019
1. Oxfam names and shames retailers it says are not meeting worker wage commitments.
2. Caltex considers $8.6b takeover offer from Canadian convenience store chain.
3. Coke & Pepsi join push for sugar reduction.
4. JB HiFi launches small store concept in Melbourne CBD.
5. The Co-operative Bookshop enters voluntary administration.
6. Priceline Pharmacy launches click’n’collect.
7. Collins Foods (KFC etc.) half year profit up 9%.
8. Womenswear retailer, Bardots, appoints administrators, seeks sale.

Articles Worth A Read:
Three Cool Retailers Worth A Look -

Body Language Tips To Make You More Persuasive -

Sneakers Are On The Rise In Fashion -

QVM In The News - 1/12/2019

At least a dozen cleaners have been left without a job after Queen Victoria Market (QVM) decided to change cleaning contractors just four weeks ...
Three twilight and night markets to check out in Victoria ... Night markets are nothing new to Queen Vic Market – in the coldest winter nights, we still ...
By Spencer Fowler Steen. Fears have been expressed that Queen Victoria Market (QVM) will lose business due to the proposed closure of the existing ...
The 141-year-old Queen Victoria Market will become the new festival hub and will host a series of signature events, plus talks and presentations led ...

Thinking Of Selling Your Stall?

A few weeks back we published an article titled "Selling Your Stall? Don't Sell Yourself Short." It urged Traders to consider the true value of their business before launching into a sale. Businesses at QVM have been notoriously undersold over the years and maybe it is time we became more professional about this important process.

Well, SBMS have decided to take the subject a step further and engage an expert in small business saleability to assist Traders through a Question & Answer session on Wednesday 15th January 2020.

Here are the details -  

If you are thinking of selling in the next year….
Come along to a Q & A Session
On Wednesday 15th January 2020

More than 50% of Exits are INVOLUNTARY.
More than 70% of Business Owners have NOT THOUGHT ABOUT IT = no exit strategy.

Without fully investigating the value that has been built up over all the years, you may be potentially throwing away all your blood, sweat and tears, and not-to-mention, your hard-fought time and hard-earned money, for nothing.

Is your business in good shape for sale?

This is your opportunity to ask any questions about selling your business, for example, how do I work out what my business may be worth? (Don't forget to write down your questions before the event). Denise can help you facilitate freedom from your Business no longer serving your purpose with strictly confidential SBMS mentoring.

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2020
Time: 11am - 1pm  Includes a light lunch
Venue: Board Room, Trader Lounge (266 Victoria Street)
*** Please note registration is required for catering.
RSVP by 9th January 2020 to, tel Madalen on 1300 631 171 or register online

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 24/11/2019

The first Summer Night Market was opened officially by Lord Mayor Sally Capp on Wednesday Night with a few special guests in attendance including ex CFO Vic Ailakis and ex Board Chairman, Paul Guerra.

Retail can be cruel – Thursday’s special shopping day for attendees of the Jehovah’s Witness conference was one of the hottest and windiest November days on record with a number of Traders forced to shut up shop. All reports suggest that those who were able to trade recorded good sales.

A customer visiting from the Jehovah’s Witness conference called in at F1 asking staff if the bag they had just purchased was made from real leather as claimed by the Trader. Staff decided the bag was unlikely to be made of leather particularly as it had cost only $20. We understand that a Precinct Manager intervened to assist the customer with a satisfactory resolution.

Traders have questioned the placement of the new bollards up on Peel St. including one directly in front of a Traders stall. We understand the placement of bollards is in accordance with the latest crime intelligence on public place intrusions.

A number of Traders have commented on the influx of new Traders in the market including a high-tech Artificial Intelligence movie booth. Filling the gaps is most welcome.

A Trader commented that Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg’s, call for Australians to work longer is already being adopted by many QVM Traders. Once again we are ahead of the pack.

A few Traders have noticed that our esteemed cleaner, Guru Pete, has lost considerable weight recently as he continues to work on his health. And the good news is that the Guru will be part of the new team taking over the cleaning contract at the market.

String Bean Alley has a great community feeling amongst its Traders and when Ronnie Z handed out free juices to his neighbours during the 36 degree heat on Wednesday evening he got a gold star. Thanks Ronnie.

With Trader Lee recently suffering broken fingers, his nephew on crutches, and Trader David recovering from a wrist injury, Traders are asking if Watches & Clocks is the most dangerous category in our market.

A Trader reported on Thursday that she knew when the wind changed direction that afternoon because stock that had blown out of her stall in the morning, blew back in from the car park later in the day – true story.

This week's bad (but irresistible) joke - "Did you hear about the tape measure who scaled Mount Everest .... he went to extraordinary lengths."

A few Traders commented on how pleasant and respectful the Jehovah’s Witness customers were.  "They can come back anytime."

Do We Need A Closer Look At Trader Parking?

The special QVM bulletin put out this week could result in higher parking costs for many Traders and maybe it is the right time to look at the question of Trader parking in more detail.

From January, Traders who park in RK/RL and L sheds on Tuesday’s or Thursdays will need to find somewhere else to park their vehicles as the area will be activated for trading. In fact the bulletin states that there will be no more parking under the sheds except by Traders in their own stalls. Presumably that will affect those who previously parked in B to E Shed laneways as well.

And before we move on let’s identify a clear conflict of intent here. It has been a view by many (Traders and management) that Trader’s vehicles should not be parked in stalls if we want to maintain a professional retail appearance at QVM.

But for Traders needing alternative parking, car parks around the market have been nominated as alternatives (see list of alternative car parks below).  The problem is they all cost money. Early bird rates start at around $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday rates are generally around $10. For 5 day Traders the costs will mount up.

Why do Traders need parking? Market trading is unique, particularly in regard to limited trading space and storage. Many Traders (probably most Traders) replenish stock daily. And many Traders, certainly in the Upper Sheds, do not get the luxury of normal supplier deliveries either because they move locations from day to day or don’t have the space to unpack and allocate stock. Stock is delivered to homes or warehouses and then brought into the market.

So, a vehicle is an essential tool of trading. You cannot deliver stock via public transport (although there was a wallet trader a few years ago who carried all his stock in a suitcase on the train). For most Traders a vehicle is not a convenience, it is a necessary part of doing business at QVM.

We currently have a voucher system that allows Traders a discounted parking rate on weekdays ($12) but vouchers are not available on Saturday and Sunday when we dedicate our car park to customers. Vouchers are also available to city workers, a sort of Early Bird system at QVM. (*) The problem is that availability is not based on time but on a strictly rationed quota. As an example, Friday vouchers are usually exhausted by 7:30 am and Traders who arrive after that time have to make alternative arrangements or pay full price for parking.

There are a few things to consider here –
-        Should Traders who are using vehicles for stock replenishment be provided with car parking?
-        Should the voucher system be extended to all authorized Traders regardless of time of entry (in other words scrap the quota system)?
-        Should QVM Traders get preference over city workers? (*)
-        At what level do parking rates become prohibitive for Traders? A 5 day Trader who takes Early Bird parking outside the market could spend around $70 per week – a significant cost in tough times.

It would seem that more discussion is needed on this subject and your thoughts are welcome.

* Correction: "Vouchers are not available to city workers. They are only available to QVM traders and there is system in place to ensure they are only given to traders. The early bird prices referred to for city workers are on non-Market days only and no voucher is given, it’s based on the entry and exit time of the vehicle as per standard early bird prices."

Alternative Car Parks Near QVM:
Wilson Parking - 380 Latrobe St. (Entry via A’Beckett St.)
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 10:00pm
Early Bird $18.00 (Mon-Fri in 6am-10am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun 7:00am - 10:00pm - Flat Rate $10.00 (Sun) $11.00 (Sat)

CBD Park - 58 Franklin St.
Early Bird $16.00 (in 5:30am-9:30am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun - $12.00

SMA (Kim Lim) 162 A’Beckett St.
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 8:00pm
Sat 7:00am - 6:00pm
Early Bird $13.00 (Mon,Wed In by 9:30am out 2pm-8pm)
Early Bird $16.00 (Mon-Fri In by 10am out 2pm-8pm)

The Mint Car Park 383 Latrobe St.
Early Bird $19.00 (Mon-Fri in 7am-10am out 3pm-9pm)
Sat-Sun - All day Flat Rate $10.00

NOTE: This information has been taken from websites. Check with Car Parks for any special conditions.

Latest Retail News – 24/11/2019

Latest Retail News – 24/11/2019
1. Cotton On opens in Vietnam.
2. Steinhoff International’s Australian subsidiary has sold Best&Less, Harris Scarfe and Debenhams.
3. First high-end convenience store from David Jones/BP collaboration opens in Bayside, Melbourne.
4. Colgate launches recyclable toothpaste tube.
5. Most grocery stores struggle to make good use of customer data.
6. Woolworths expands its delivery service.
7. Plus size clothing retailer City Chic to open 15 new stores over next 3 years.
8. Dimmeys to close down.
9. Security and tracking within stores receives upgrade as un-manned convenience stores roll out.
10. Marks & Spencer hire senior Tesco executive to rescue declining clothing sales.

The One Thing Most People Don’t Understand About Branding -

QVM In The News - 24/11/2019

You might think that all farmer market types are the same and you might be partially correct. However, Queen Victoria Market is a completely different ...
At the Queen Victoria Market another fashion stall recently sold a jacket with fur around its hood, which the stallholder described as “faux fur”.
At Queen Victoria market a stallholder had a fur-trimmed jacket described as faux fur but testing showed similar results to the beanies at South ...
Mr Burstall told a Friends of Queen Victoria Market forum that fruit and vegetable traders were being driven out of business so they could be replaced ...
A public forum on the future of the Queen Victoria Market will be held at Drill Hall on Wednesday night. Mary-Lou Howie, President of Friends of the ...

Monday, 18 November 2019

In Defence Of Stuff - Rant Warning

I am sick of people running down “stuff” as gifts particularly at Christmas time. The new age approach (or is that millennial approach) is to give experiences rather than stuff. Well sorry, but experiences are soon forgotten, while “stuff” hangs around.

And the “forgotten” bit becomes more relevant as you get older. I don’t remember my 70th Birthday but each day I am greeted by these wonderful gifts from my Grandaughter which reside on my office desk. 

The plastic bottle, incidentally, has little supermarket giveaways in side which add movement and colour as you shake the bottle. Both the bottle and the graphic are gifts that keep on giving.

And yes, there are life experiences that keep on giving as well, the first date with my wife probably a standout. But there is a place for stuff. Stuff brings back memories. Stuff decorates. Stuff reconnects with people and events. And stuff can be very functional. One of my favourite gifts (after the plastic bottle) is my watch – a mechanical masterpiece that will last for 100 years.

Maybe society is simply over reacting to “stuff”. Yes, we do need to watch how much we consume. Yes, we do need to save the planet. But along the way, functional, attractive, meaningful, or even whimsical “stuff” has its place. And yes, some of that stuff can be donations to communities in need so they can buy stuff designed to improve life.

Am I biased? Let’s be honest – this is a retailer talking. Many of us rely on consumers buying “stuff” to earn a living. I just think we need some kickback to a trend that might be based more around laziness than a desire to give something meaningful. My Grandaughter had this nailed.

By Greg Smith

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 17/11/2019

Jehovahs Witness delegates sighted already. It is a week out from the Jehovah’s Witness conference at Marvel Stadium but delegates have already been seen in our aisles.

A Trader points out that it is now 4 years since the last JW conference and a lot has changed in the world economy since – perhaps we shouldn’t assume a sales spike this time.

New evacuation process? It was probably simply a timing error by a contractor but when a truck pulled up adjacent to the toilets at the top of String Bean Alley at 3:10pm on Sunday, and started pumping out the ladies toilet, the effect was almost immediate. The combination of noise and very unpleasant smell cleared a nearby café in seconds. At least one Trader was forced to leave their stall until the smell subsided. Maybe a lesson for evacuation co-ordinators worried about getting a response. Smell can be a very powerful activator.
Follow-up: Apparently the toilets were in danger of overflowing and being closed down. The decision was made to do a quick pump out rather than close the toilets. 

Renovations in C Shed include some good old fashioned wood-working as repairs are made to timber posts. A Trader sent us this photo.

Repairs in C Shed are being conducted with as little disruption as possible but one Trader suggests the tradies could be asked to turn down their radio during trading hours. Traders are prohibited from playing loud music at their stalls and perhaps tradies could comply as well. 

Still on C Shed – a Trader asks why we can’t board off the construction area so it looks less like a construction zone. 

String bean Alley Traders have been given approval to trade on Thursday 21st November prior to the Jehovah’s Witness conference.

Google mail problem. Google is an important search option for businesses and getting your business to show on Google requires an application and a confirmation of your address. The problem is that Google send you a letter in the mail to confirm your address, and QVM don’t accept mail for Traders. Well actually they don’t accept mail except for Google mail. One of our Precinct Managers confirmed that a letter from Google will be delivered to your stall to enable registration. 

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week – Three tape measures exploring the Amazon jungle were captured by cannibals. The lead tape measure said “Take me to your ruler.”

Concerns on Monday that the Jehovah’s Witness website was only showing fresh food on its QVM information page quickly got a response from our Marketing Team with new photos introduced, and a complete listing of all the Trader special offers for conference delegates including food and Specialty Merchandise.

Next Wednesday's Summer Night Market season opening is expected to go off with a bang helped by live bands from the Melbourne Music Festival and a 32 degrees temperature forecast.