Sunday 10 March 2013

Editorial - Consultation Needs To Be Real

This weekend’s Trader’s Bulletin includes reference to the newly formed TAC sub-committees and their role as a consultative process with traders.
We applaud the efforts to listen to traders and get their input, and in fact, we consider trader’s input to be an essential ingredient if the process is to be successful. We don’t really want to go through all the pain again of letters to the Lord Mayor and a string of meetings to make that point.

It is therefore disappointing that a Trader’s Portal is to be shortly launched on the revamped QVM website without any consultation with traders. You could get the impression from Jenny Hibb’s latest Traders Bulletin that the Trader’s Portal is part of the Marketing Sub-committee’s involvement in developing marketing and communication strategies but I can assure you that trader’s representatives have not been involved in the makeup of the portal although we have been advised of its existence.

The whole design of the website has serious implications for traders. How easy will it be for us to interact with the website? Will our customers receive significant benefits in using it? Will the website provide ways for traders to enhance their digital exposure? Will the website include cutting edge access to trader’s products, a bit like Westfield do for their tenants? Will it include a sophisticated directory to help customers find us?

There are many aspects to be considered and these days a website is a critical element of any retail undertaking. If the renewal process is to be successful traders must have real input. The whole process of renewal consultation has started in a positive manner and lack of consultation on this issue is disappointing.