Sunday 29 July 2012

What Do You Think of M Shed?

There is a buzz of excitement over the new String Bean Alley retail concept as the opening day draws near.
We have had a number of comments like these –
“ I like the look of it. It adds a new dimension and I hope it is successful.”
“In the current Retail environment you are either brave or stupid to start up a new venture.”
“It looks good. Hopefully the rear of L shed can be made to look more appealing.”
"I am having trouble getting access to my stall.”
“Where can I get one of those planter boxes. They are ace.”

What do you think? Give us your thoughts below.

29/07/2012 18:09:15 M shed "Looks fantastic, market stuff well done. One note - use the back of these( parking of first row) for boxes, they look terrible scattered all over and unsafe.
And as there would be less room for parking, urge council to facilitate us , by changing parking restriction around the perimeter of market. and also offer Saturday and Sunday free parking in the market. Problem solved." andy
29/07/2012 18:54:44 New shops "I want one. Excellent." Mino - JLP Melbourne
29/7/2012 11:45 M shed "Storage box relocation.....epic fail." - Mark                         
30/07/2012 08:28:26 M Shed Will be interesting to see how this work, I can see it might over summer but definately not in winter! if it does it again will not solve the rest of the problems for the market, its once again a cover up for the mayor problems. If this does work in some way it will work for those in M shed, what about the other hundreds of traders!? i think M shed will make it worse for the rest of the market as it kind of yells out "Hey look at us, we are good quality stall holders, how great you only have to come down here to see the best of the market, forget about the GM area!"... seriously... when is someone going to wake up and do what really needs to get done at this market?              
30/07/2012 10:50:13 m shed traders The concept is great.they look neat and of course it will serve a dual purpose for night seems to be theme lately. day traders are having to work around everything else the market management are there no respect left at all for the day traders..i hear the rent for most is about $600 a month for a 3 day trade..also it seems they are blessed with electricity nice platforms and a nice containers access.. here we are busting ourselves to load and unload for so many years, given giood service and loyalty, and now we see brand new tenants in a very tough retail period having everything at their dispopsal for next to nothing rent..WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
30/7/2012 15:30 M shed “I agree with the sentiment that it would be nice for the rest of general merchandise to be treated like the M shed tenants. However, as much as rent is an issue for us, we shouldn’t be concerned about the rents in M shed. As as an ex manufacturer I know the economics of making your own goods are totally different to regular retailing. Making goods and then turning up at the market to sell them creates a completely different cost structure to buying goods for $5 and selling for $20. In fact I applaud management for their understanding of that point. As for the rest of it? – Yes, we deserve some breaks.”
30/07/2012 19:08:16 M Shed "Kudos for a display of initiative and creative thinking. Just goes to show when there is a will to achieve and accomplish via positive innovations things get done.
However... when your house has some major structural flaws, you don’t build a Gazebo out the back! Get your house in order first, then by all means...
Might I suggest an alphabetic approach, start with A shed and work your way through till you’ve addressed and made some headway in resolving current issues and concerns then as stated above, by all means, go for it, and we’ll all be behind you."
30/07/2012 20:32:42 M Shed "Things look nice all lined up - little boxes, but seriously M Shed Laneway has effectively been the :""Service Lane"" for L, K, Rear of K, Rear of L, J, Sheds. To remove this amenity with no consultation affects  many stallholders adversely - ie traders forced to attempt to accommodate their boxes on their stalls thus reducing dramatically trading space.  Other traders are looking to change to large vehicles at great expense  exacerbating the already difficult parking.  The ""first come first in"" for the limited and inadequate box storage is divisive  and certain to cause frictions between traders/other traders and management.  By removing M Shed storage it makes the box storage situation almost impossible.
String Bean Alley makes the Market bigger, most would probably agree it is already big enough - yes it does seem to be geared towards the night markets at the expense again of regular day traders.  Enough is enough.
Traders in L Shed have for many years moved to this location because there was more space for boxes and/or vehicles and trade.  Many now have been reduced by up to half.  I don't know how well it will work as a trading area - have some doubts, but if it does work it there will be more containers  and if it doesn't we will pay for it - we are the cash cow - we pay for all the bright ideas"

05/08/2012 18:24:06 M shed Where is the consideration for the existing stall holders who hand craft their stock?????
08/08/2012 11:00:57 M shed "Well done for all the great comments! Does management also read these comments?    - Ed:Our website has wide readership but issues like this are raised direct with management when appropriate.                                               


Latest Retail News – 29/07/2012

Latest Retail News – 29/07/2012

1.       NAB ups business lending loans rate by 20 basis points.
2.       Consumer prices rise less than expected with inflation at 1.2%, down from 1.6% in March.
3.       Dick Smith says continuous economic growth unsustainable.
4.       General consensus (RBA, ABS) that consumer spending has lifted but is it temporary spike?
5.        Quirky travel and stationary goods retailer, Typo, opens first airport shop in Brisbane.
6.       Centro Shopping Centre Bankstown extends trading hours to accommodate Ramadan.
7.       Fashion e-tailer, Surfstitch, wins 2012 Online Award.
8.       Adidas closes its only factory in China.
9.       Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury opens inaugural Retail Council of Australia meeting in Sydney.
10.   Ebay reports revenue up 23% over last year.
11.   Retail study claims more than half Australians over 15 now shop online.
12.   Australia’s largest independent property advisor, Herron Todd White, reports retail vacancy rates are soaring in prime and secondary Sydney shopping strips.
13.   Treehouse Children’s Decor placed into receivership.

Why Do I Need To Vote?

Postal votes to elect trader representatives on the Trader's Advisory Committee will be out this week at a time of immense significance for our market. 
This is an important time for consultation. It is not often that traders get to sit down with the Chairman of the Board (and Melbourne's Lord Mayor) to discuss a Future Vision for their market. Changes are coming and traders will be asked to consider a whole range of proposals, many of them coming through the Trader's Advisory Committee.

The trader's you elect for this committee will be acting on your behalf. This is an opportunity for you to choose the people you can trust with that role.

Election Nominees – GMT (PE Traders)

The following traders have advised us that they are nominees in the upcoming elections for the Trader's Advisory Committee. There are two positions for General Merchandise PE (Pre-existing License) representatives. Only General Merchandise PE Traders can vote in this category. Postal votes are expected to be sent to all eligible traders this week.
We have listed the nominees alphabetically which may be nothing like the order shown on your ballot paper. Make sure you read the voting instructions carefully. This is a great opportunity to select who you want to represent you as we move forward with the Future Vision for the QVM.

Ivano Guseli – Ivano has been trading at QVM as a caricaturist for around 13 years. He has been active in trader matters including Trader Focus Groups and more recently in the Trader/Board/MCC meetings examining a future vision for QVM.
Q. What do you see as the role of a trader representative? A. “Effective representation, honesty, and transparency”.

John Magno – John has been at the market since he was 7 years old and has served as a trader for around 35 years. John has been active in trader/management discussions over a number of years and is currently a Trader Representative on the Trader’s Advisory Committee.

Q. What do you see as the role of a trader representative? A. “Do the best we can for every stallholder in the market.”

Michael Presser – Michael has been trading at the market for 34 years and has been active as a Trader Representative on the Trader’s Advisory Committee for the last 15 years.

Q. What do you see as the role of a trader representative? A. “To represent traders honestly, avoid disadvantaging any trader, and to help preserve the market in its entirety.”

Glenn Rayner – Glen has been a trader for 34 years and has been actively involved as a Trader Representative in the past.

Q. What do you see as the role of a trader representative? A. “To ensure trader’s rights are not compromised and that rents are sustainable.”

Greg Smith – Greg has been a trader at the market for approximately 33 years. He has been active in trader matters including Trader Focus Groups and more recently in the Trader/Board/MCC meetings examining a future vision for QVM.

Q. What do you see as the role of a trader representative? A. “To work for all traders in ensuring the QVM is a profitable and enjoyable place to work.”

Election Nominees – General Merchandise (SL Traders)

The following traders have advised us that they are nominees in the upcoming elections for the Trader's Advisory Committee. There are two positions for General Merchandise SL (Transferrable License) representatives. Only General Merchandise SL Traders can vote in this category. Postal votes are expected to be sent to all eligible traders this week.
We have listed the nominees alphabetically which may be nothing like the order shown on your ballot paper. In fact there will be 3 more nominees on your ballot paper but they have not approached us to publish their details. Make sure you read the voting instructions carefully. This is a great opportunity to select who you want to represent you as we move forward with the Future Vision for the QVM.

Peter Auden – Peter is the current TAC representative for this category.

Stephen McLennan –Stephen’s family has a long association with the QVM and he has been a trader  in Australian souvenirs for 6 years.
Kha Nguyen – Kha has worked in the market for 25 years and has operated his own stall for approximately 10 years.

Election Nominees – Other Leaseholders

The following traders have advised us that they are nominees in the upcoming elections for the Trader's Advisory Committee. There are two positions for the Other Leaseholders category which includes the F shed Shops, Victoria St. shops, Box Hire, and the Food Court amongst others.  Only Other Leaseholder Traders can vote in this category. Postal votes are expected to be sent to all eligible traders this week.

We have listed the nominees alphabetically which may be nothing like the order shown on your ballot paper. In addition to the 5 nominees listed , there are 3 other nominees who have not contacted us with their details. Make sure you read the voting instructions carefully. This is a great opportunity to select who you want to represent you as we move forward with the Future Vision for the QVM.

Ashley Bibb – Ashley operates the Funk Fish Cafe in the Food Court.

Damian Mammone – Damian operates a cafe in the Food Court.

Ben Moulton – Ben is a Box Hire Operator and has attended many TAC meetings as an observer.

Jenny Pike – Jenny has a long history in the market including active participation in major projects like the J shed roofing. (No photo)

Joe Stolareck – Joe operates Vicmarket Communications in F shed.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Market Interview - Cameron

Name. Cameron Where were you born ? Lilydale
What do you sell ?  Candy, and I also work with my Mum Robyn at her aromatherapy stall.
How long have you been trading ? 2 years
Have you served any famous people ? former Melbourne Lord Mayor John So
If I was to give you a 2 week free holiday anywhere in the world, where would choose to go?  Borneo or Brazil.
Thing you most love about the market? Meeting  different people and  cultures that mix so well.
Thing you dislike about the market? Cold mornings and thieves.
What your favourite meal / drink? Korean. Asahi Beer and Vittoria coffee latte.
Favourite music, movie?  Too many – reggae, electronic, hip hop. TV show - The Wire (tony* brilliant choice)
Tell me something nobody knows about you?  I'm studying to become a tour guide.

Interviewed by Tony

Heads Up On Marketing Opportunity

The last two Trader Bulletins have contained information about the upcoming Shop The Sheds campaign for September-November. Traders interested in some free marketing should take note.
The campaign includes a number of promotion channels, not the least of which is the Facebook “Get Offer” facility that we reported on recently. One trader received over 50 email responses claiming their special offer.

Remember, to make this campaign really effective you should make your offer exclusive to the campaign. In other words, don’t just submit a generic special that is available to all customers who visit your stall. This is all about making respondents to social media and QVM print marketing feel extra special. It is the trader’s way of emulating Daily Deal or special club offers run by major retailers and online outlets. We believe that, done correctly, this type of campaign has potential for success.

You can express your interest in the campaign by emailing by Sunday 12th August.

Meet The Chairman of the Board

QVM Chairman, Paul Guerra, has agreed to meet with traders again this week on Thursday evening 26th July between 4pm and 6pm at 160 Franklin St. (carpark corner). Traders are given the opportunity to express their views on a broad range of issues particularly issues that may impact on the Future Vision for QVM.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

State Government Provides New Support for Small Retailers.

Minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business Louise Asher today announced a new $6 million four year program to provide targeted assistance to retailers, at the launch of the Victorian Coalition Government's 2012 Small Business Festival.
"The Coalition Government will partner with councils and business trader groups to support small retail businesses in local shopping precincts as part of this new program," Ms Asher said.

"The four year $6 million Streetlife program for retailers will help them to develop their business and marketing strategies, boost skills, and improve online and social media capacity in order to increase customer traffic and sales. Applications for Streetlife will open later this year."
For more information about festival events, visit

Sunday 22 July 2012

The Lighter Side of Retailing

Retailing can be a very serious endeavour which makes it important that we balance the seriousness with a little humour from time to time. This is a video about a most unlikely customer activity that could just catch on.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Second Trader/Board Meeting

Thursday evening’s meeting covered a broad range of issues with all trader group’s represented with the exception of meat. The cold confines of the Franklin St packing sheds did not diminish active debate on issues like the carpark, tourism, trader consultation, enclosed markets, trading hours, customer make-up, food freshness and much more.
Chairman of the Board, Paul Guerra, and Director of City Design, Rob Adams, repeated their statement that future plans for the market are not yet locked in. The purpose of these meetings is to establish views from all traders before plans are formulated. All in attendance at this meeting were given an opportunity to express their views. We are waiting to hear on the next step.

21/07/2012 21:43:31 thur nite "I am surprised that the ""rep  of the board"" and ""council designer"" is sitting with us, ""the traders of qvm "" at the same table.please pardon my cynacism,
We collectively have a multi million dollar ""going concern"" in the palms of our hands and we need a huge professional advertising company to convincingly  ""sell"" us to the public:( seriously how hard is it to get a quote and draft?)
Give parking an inviting  boost 10 till 12 complimentary parking on weekday market days for the month of  september;(seriously how hard is it to implement?)
We have these boards to advertise in them DO SO!! I can see the school holiday ads. are still in there!!
What about OUR market being open with the""day traders""the first day of daylight saving until 8pm which happens to be a Sunday including live music out in Queen Street (it will give  the ""events"" people a new ""toy"")
These ideas can come to fruition THIS year.!!!Yes THIS year!!
I do not care about Copenhagen nor Sth or Prahran!!markets, Ours is the biggest and should be the best!Cos that is what I hear from people that come past  me.from all walks of life,all sorts of jobs and professions.
Come on Mr Adams and Mr Guerra how genuine are you both in  making QVM the success story of Melbourne and the World? Please show me how quickly you can" -  Rosalie Rockman

 21/07/2012 22:16:57 Trader/Board Meeting "Good points Rosalie. Long term strategic planning is fine but there are many things that can be done right now. It just needs a genuine desire to promote the best market in the world."                               

Trader Elections – Nominations are in.

Nominations for representatives on the Traders Advisory Committee closed at mid-day on Monday 16th and we understand that nominations were received for all trader groups.
We understand that that the number of nominees in general merchandise categories exceeded the number of positions available and that elections will need to be held to pick representatives. A postal vote will be conducted with traders shortly. We hope to have details of the nominees in each group next week. In the meantime, any nominee who would like to use this website to communicate with their constituents should email or ring Greg Smith on 0406 222 020.

General Merchandise and Food – The Same But Different.

It is not often that all trader groups at the Queen Victoria Market get together but Thursday night’s meeting with Paul Guerra and Rob Adams gave us an insight into some of the issues that get different reactions from different groups.
All trader groups at QVM are united in a desire for a positive business environment that is enjoyable to work in, creates reasonable profits, and has a sustainable vision going forward. Working together is important. A representative from seafood traders claimed on Thursday night that fresh food was responsible for attracting 70% of the customers to the market. QVM surveys would appear to support that view. They show that 70% of visitors are locals who are the core customer group for fresh food. On the other hand, we know that tourists are drawn predominantly to general merchandise and we know that the largest number of rent payers at QVM are general merchandise traders. The point is that each group at the market relies on each other for a cohesive mix of products, attractions, and financial inputs. We are different, and so we should be. But understanding, and accommodating those differences is going to be very important going forward so we can all benefit.

Friday 20 July 2012

Retail News Shorts – 20/7/2012

Kookai Success Story – Fashion retailer, Kookai,  attributes its success in a difficult trading environment to establishing a niche market. The company has two major differences from its competitors – firstly, they manufacture each item of clothing individually. They do not use mass cutting or assembly so variety is a key component. Secondly, they are vertically integrated – they make clothes for themselves and no one else.
David Jones and Apple Introduce Completely Different New Sales Systems – Apple have introduced a new instore EasyPay system which allows users to scan and pay for items without ever talking to a sales assistant. David Jones, on the other hand, have announced plans to hire 200 new sales assistants who will accompany customers, give information, and take orders using iPads.

Latest Retail News –21/7/2012

Latest Retail News –21/7/2012 1.       Telstra to recognise traditional landowners in all stores.
2.       Confectionary manufacturer and retailer, Darrell Lea, goes into voluntary administration.
3.       Westpac Index of Consumer Confidence rises 3.5% in July following RBA interest rate decision.
4.       Extended warranty provider goes under, affecting customers of Woolworths, Myer and Dick Smith.
5.       RMIT study shows consumer more likely to trust food product labels than what they read on the internet.
6.       Tax Office to target coffee shops – make sure shop sales match with coffee bean suppliers.
7.       Amazon’s same day delivery puts extra strain on US retailers trying to compete.
8.       Private label products (think Coles and Woolworths) grow to 25.2% of sales in 2012.
9.       Pattie Foods (Four’N Twenty pies) defies difficult times, and the move to private labels, with 7% profit increase.
10.   Optus launch new small business web hosting service for $5.95 month.
11.   Small business pushes payment terms out to 53.2 days. 62% of all trade payments were late in the June quarter.
12.   Harvey Norman to purchase several Retravision stores.
13.   NAB and Westpac report improved conditions for retailing.
14.   Myer to shed 100 jobs, mainly back room.
15.   IGA launches Locked Down Low Prices strategy in war with other major supermarkets.
16.   Darrell Lea sales rocket fourfold as local and o/s companies eye off purchase.
17.   Alfred Dunhill shuts down stores in India.
18.   Across the board decline in US retail sales continues for 3rd straight month.
19.   Country Road report Australasian sales down by 2.6%.
20.   Federal Government announces ABS will track online sales.
21.   Noni B announce profit bounce back in region $2.5m – $2.7m.
22.   Di Bella coffee launches JV in India.
23.   Fashion e-tailer SurfStitch has taken out the title of 2012 Online Retailer of the Year.

Thursday 19 July 2012

News Brief - Costco

The worlds seventh largest retailer has announced it will open its second Melbourne store in Ringwood in 2013.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Thursday Trader Briefing Confirmed

Chairman of the Board, Paul Guerra, has confirmed his availability to meet with traders on Thursday 19th July between 4:00pm and 7:00pm at 160 Franklin St. The location is the meeting room at the old packing sheds at the corner of Queen and Franklin streets. Discussion will include long and short term issues affecting the market, and each attendee will be given a maximum of 10 minutes to discuss any issue face to face. Rob Adams will be in attendance from 4:00pm til 6:00pm. If you would like to propose some issues on this forum, simply click on the "Have Your Say" link in the top right hand column of this page.

17/07/2012 17:06:15 thursday meeting  "What a good idea. 10 minutes is good as we can put our point across. See you then." andypandy                 

The Golden Age of Retail Growth is Over

Industry analyst and forecaster, BIS Shrapnel, has predicted it will be another decade at least before bricks’n’mortar shops return to reasonable growth in the retail category.
This recent report focussed on retail property trends and identified that shopping centre incomes were protected to some extent by automatic fixed rental escalations of around 4%.  “The problem is that if rent is going up by four per cent a year but turnover is growing by less than that, occupancy costs rise,” says a BIS Shrapnel spokesperson. “Specialty shop occupancy costs are at an all-time high. They are unsustainably high for some tenants.”
Those costs are leading occupants to either not renew at the end of the lease or demand a cut in rent to stay. If they leave, the incoming tenant is achieving a more attractive offer, in a combination of lower rent and/or leasing incentives. “There’s widespread evidence of slowing centre income growth as a result”.

ABC’s Jon Faine Broadcasting Live From The Market

ABC Radio’s Jon Faine will be broadcasting live from the Therry St. corner on Friday morning 20th July.
The theme of the mornings discussion will be Saturday's by-election for the seat of Melbourne with Labour’s Jennifer Kanis, The Green’s Cathy Oke, and independant Stephen Mayne, debating all the election issues.
Melbourne has been a long held ALP seat but The Greens are considered a threat this time. It will be interesting to hear if the future of the QVM is mentioned.

Monday 16 July 2012

Trading Hours – Continued

If we were to call a halt to our discussion on trading hours right now we would have to say that 10-4 on each trading day would be the preferred option for General Merchandise Traders. If you don’t agree with that, or you would like to add your “Yes” vote, make sure you comment below. Perhaps you could also ask your trader neighbours what they think. The wider this discussion, the better.

23/06/2012 21:40:41 "Yes." (to 10-4 Trading Hours)
01/07/2012 18:14:52 "YES  to 10am - 4pm.  When can we start?"  Mary-Anne (Airllywood) Trading Hours  
08/07/2012 19:22:03 "10-4 sound right yes " 
16/07/2012 15:54:46 "Yes, I agree that 10am-4pm would be suitable for both traders and shoppers alike.  Same time each day also, so there is some solid consistency.  Trading hours" 
17/07/2012 14:30 "GROWING TREND -Having spent a month in Thailand. I did notice that all malls and even supermarkets had instigated new trading hours,  Currently they stay open late, but open for business at 11 am.  This applied in residential areas  and tourist  areas. The staggering of business and shopping hours  helps to  lessen congestion.  It maybe a good idea for the market too." Morry Parush                                                   

Saturday 14 July 2012

New Copenhagen Market Sets The Standard

At Thursday night's QVM Strategy Meeting Rob Adams made mention of best practise in markets around the world and particularly mentioned the new Copenhagen market. It was mentioned in reference to QVM possibly moving to a closed in market with greater certainty in trader location and operation. Rob felt this could be achieved without destroying the market "feel".

Here is the blurb from the Copenhagen Market's website -
"Welcome to Northern Europe's largest and most dynamic marketplace and distribution center for fresh produce, flowers and handicrafts which are expected to be ready for occupation in 2014. Copenhagen Markets is designed to meet the demands of tomorrow's retail, food service sector and consumers place on their suppliers and partners."
Here is a link to a virtual reality video of the new market (with thanks to Michael Presser).
The video is a little lengthy but stick with it because it gives a good idea of how a closed in, open span modern market might look.

Friday 13 July 2012

Thursday Nights Strategy Briefing

Here, in point form, are our notes on Thursday night’s “QVM – Thinking About The Future” briefing. We stress these are just notes and in the heat of discussion it is easy to miss points. We are hoping those of you who attended may be able to fill in the gaps in the comment section.
Speakers:            Paul Guerra, Chairman of the Board, QVM Pty.Ltd.

                                Kathy Alexander – Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne City Council.

                                Rob Adams – Director of City Design, Melbourne City Council.

Paul Guerra –talked about a joint responsibility to protect the history of the QVM and ensure its viability for the future. ...cont'd