Monday 26 August 2013

QVM Plan Excites Masters Students

An article from the Bunbury Mail caught our attention this morning and had us asking "if only".

The article was about a group of 14 Architectural Masters Students attending an intensive 7 day (and nights) workshop at Melbourne's iconic Robyn Boyd, South Yarra house. These Masters students were excited by their unique surroundings and the fact that they were presenting before a panel led by Kerstin Thompson, a leading architect and educator in urbanism. Not only that, they had been presented with a real-world problem by The City of Melbourne.

Their project? - "The sensitive Queen Victoria Market plan." If only a trader could have been there to see what drives market design and how effectively the realities of trading are recognised by designers.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Online or Bricks ‘n’ Mortar But Not Both

When I first started in business my business guru (my accountant) told me to make up my mind whether I wanted to retail or wholesale but don’t try to do both. He reasoned that the two functions were different enough to make them incompatible. He said “Do one really well, but don’t try to do both.”

In today’s retail market multi-channeling is the buzz word. Retailers are expected to add an online presence to their traditional bricks ‘n’ mortar stores. We are constantly hounded by retail commentators who say the modern retailer cannot survive without a professional website and all the associated trappings like immediate, inexpensive (or even free) delivery, guaranteed stock holdings, constant website updates, free returns, lowest prices – and the list goes on.
So it was interesting to read Ruslan Kogan’s (founder and CEO of one of Australia’s most successful new retailers) comments recently when he suggested that online and traditional retailing were incompatible - “Any business has to have a viable competitive advantage – a value added model that ensures sustainability. Your competitive advantage underpins your entire business. The competitive advantage for online players and traditional retailers is completely different. For traditional retailers, that means relying on a certain level of returning foot traffic. For online retailers, it means fulfilment optimisation and efficiency driving highly competitive pricing structures. These two models are completely incommensurable.” (thanks to Power Retail for the quote)
If Kogan is correct then a lot of retailers are spending a lot of money trying to get two incompatible functions to mix. I have a website, but I have never allowed it to distract me from giving full attention to my physical stall presence and I think my old accountant would approve.

Have Your Say - click here

25/08/2013 18:00:34 Online "There is merit to the argument.
See here:
Having said that: through technology you can create a seamless mult-channel experience. 
The difference with your accountant's (correct) advice is that you are dealing with the same customer in m/c - unlike w/sale vs retail." Dennis  

25/08/2013 20:55 Online "Good point Dennis. The same customer who enjoys our traditional retail offer may also wish to engage online and in fact that is becoming increasingly likely." Ed

Latest Retail News - 25/8/2013

Latest Retail News - 25/8/2013

1.    Woolworths says Sundays becoming almost as popular as Saturdays for shopping.
2.    Priceline pushes home brands just like supermarkets.
3.    Roy Morgan Research says "Australian made" more important to consumers today.
4.    Toys R Us plans global expansion with focus on China.
5.    Westfarmers lifts profit by 6.3% for 2013 but Target division profit halves.
6.    60 store kitchenware chain, King of Knives, placed in administration.
7.    QBD The Bookshop continues expansion with 3 new stores in Westfield centres.
8.    Reject Shop reports 11% profit drop following 40 new stores rollout.
9.    Epping Plaza to rebrand as Epping Pacific with launch of new Urban Diner restaurant precinct.
10. Super Retail group reports 23% profit lift as consumers continue to spend on their auto, sport, and leisure hobbies.
11. PayPal says Australia leads the world in mobile retail purchasing with 28% of purchases done from mobiles.
12. MasterCard launches Master Pass for easy online purchasing without filling out forms.
13. Woolworths buys popular online retailer, EziBuy.
14. Father's Day spending expected to be around half of Mother's Day.

15. PAC Brands (Bonds etc.) returns to profit for first time since 2010.

Two Important Meetings

Trader's Representatives held two important meetings this week as we attempt to establish a suitable role for traders in the communication and decision making structure leading into renewal.

Jan Cochrane-Harry is the consultant appointed by the QVM Board to investigate communication processes at QVM. On Tuesday this week Jan met with all 10 Trader Representatives and presented a draft document of the issues and actions following the series of trader/board/council meetings last year. It is anticipated that a final draft of the progress so far will be communicated to traders in the near future, probably in the form of meetings.
Wide ranging discussions were also held on other issues including relations with management, the Board, and Council, and the role of traders in the renewal consultation process.  Jan will be working on issues over coming weeks and we can expect to see her around the market.

In a similar vein, three Trader Representatives (Ivano, Kon Kardaras, George Milonas) held a meeting with Mark Stoermer of Melbourne City Council on Thursday afternoon. Mark is Director of Corporate Business. This is the first approach by QVM Advisory Committee Representatives direct to City Council and is seen as an important step in cementing relations with the owners of QVM. Discussions focused on the role of MCC as overseer of the market and how traders could best be part of the decision making and communication process going forward.

Setting the groundwork for meaningful involvement by traders is essential in the securing the future of QVM. Progress is slow and we understand that traders are keen for results that impact on the business bottom line. Trader's Representatives believe that cementing our role in the QVM structure will give us the best chance of trader's impacting positively on the future of this great public market and insuring against the mistakes of the past.

The QVM Advisory Committee (previously known as  TAC) is a body made up of 10 elected Trader Representatives who represent each area of the market. The committee is chaired by the QVM CEO. The QVM Advisory Committee meets at regular intervals to consider and advise on market issues, and minutes are provided to the QVM Board.

Have Your Say - click here

Friday 23 August 2013

Message From Bernie Dunn and Other Matters

Bernie Dunn Passes On Condolences - ex Manager of QVM and now General Manager of Pipeworks Markets, Bernie Dunn, has passed on his condolences following Michael Presser's passing.
23/8/2013 "So sorry to hear of Michael's passing...he was a great support to me in my time at the Queen Vic. Condolences from all at Pipeworks Market." Bernie Dunn
Thank you for your thoughts Bernie.

Google Glass App Checks Prices - Google Glass is the new computer you wear and it does lots of things for you including videoing what you are looking at. A new app allows you to automatically check the price of items you are looking at by scanning the barcode and comparing the price offered by other suppliers.

Falling Australian Dollar Helps Retailers - the dramatic decline in the A$ means that goods purchased overseas are all of a sudden 15-20% dearer. This makes local goods more price attractive and, together with disincentives to Australians travelling overseas, works in favour of Australian domestic retailers.

Wednesday the Biggest Day For Online Buying - Date analytics and marketing research firm, Quantium, says research shows Saturday and Sunday are the weakest days for online retail spending. Sales rise on Monday and Tuesday, peak on Wednesday at just over 16% of online spending, before tapering off Thursday and Friday.

Rugby Drives Tourism - the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that June international arrivals were up 7.6% from May and 10.1% from June last year with most of the increase due to the British and Irish Lions rugby union tour. Even allowing for the rugby blip, the underlying tourism trends look encouraging as the lower A$ takes effect.

New Shopping Centre In CBD

Melbourne's Emporium Shopping Centre on Lonsdale St. will link With Myer and David Jones and feature over 225 specialty stores.

Set to open in early 2014, Emporium Melbourne will feature a mix of Australian and International designers, innovative concept and flagship stores and world class architecture.

The centre is owned by The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd and

CFS Retail Property Trust Group (think Chadstone, Northland, various DFO stores and Myer Melbourne).

Lower Start-up Rents At Chadstone

CFS Retail Fund is the retail landlord for Chadstone Shopping Centre and a range of high profile centres around Australia including Northland and various DFO stores.

The trust has announced a 29.7% fall in net profit following a tough trading year and property revaluations. Modest rental growth for existing tenants was offset by a 7.5% reduction in new lease rents (The Age). The trust has reported the continuation of its 5% automatic yearly rent increase for specialty stores that were re-leased. Including replacements, the overall re-leasing spread for the year was -1.1%.

Other features of the trust's report included a decision to cut back on Chadstones next expansion phase due to softer trading in apparel and discretionary items, and a remix of tenants in the portfolio with fashion making way for technology and retail services. Retail sales performance included a healthy 7.8% rise for food, 3.9% for mobile phones, 5.8% for retail services, and a 1.1% fall for apparel. DFO stores showed 9.4% growth.

Have Your Say - click here

26/8/2013  10:02  Rents  "Automatic yearly rent increases need to be seriously questioned. They are nothing more than a rent increase that should be negotiated at the commencement of a lease and if necessary adjusted for CPI variations (up or down). Landlords want their cake and eat it too. They want to tie tenants into a lease, which is designed to protect both parties, but then up the rent on a random basis during the leases currency without any consideration of business conditions. It is a rip-off and no more obvious than at QVM where PE Traders experience annual rent increases based (loosely) on market conditions whilst their SL counterparts pay automatic increases which cannot be justified by current market conditions. This means that SL Traders are now paying more rent than PE Traders. If there are to be automatic increases for SL licences it is time they were tied to CPI."  - Greg Smith

Sunday 18 August 2013

Latest Retail News – 18/8/2013

Latest Retail News – 18/8/2013
1. Coles lifts Wesfarmers profits to $2.29b.
2. Walmart cuts profit outlook in US with same store revenue down 0.3%.
3. US retail sales up slightly in July despite drop in car sales.
4. Eurozone edges out of recession as industrial output rallies sharply in June.
5. Australian consumer confidence rose sharply in August as another rate cut takes hold.
6. Adelaide’s Brickworks Market to close after 30 years.
7. Dick Smith signs deal to operate David Jones in-store electronics business.
8. Local activewear chain, Lorna Jane, expected to be placed on market in 2014.
9. JB HiFi reports better than expected profit with 11% rise on last year.
10. Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building Shopping Centre wins Australian Catalogue of the Year Award for its “Era of Glamour” catalogue.
11. Britains biggest retailer, Tesco, in Chinese joint venture talks.
12. Walmart eyes off Hong Kong supermarket chain Park’n’Shop as opportunity to expand business in China.
13. Benefit Cosmetics to open another brow bar at Sydney’s International Airport as part of global expansion into travel retail market.
14. Coles to move from individual brands and suppliers doing in-store merchandising to rationalising under one marketing services company.
15. Woolworths terminates cash out transactions at its BWS stores following rise in robberies.
16. JB HiFi’s, JB Home concept, plans expansion following success of its first 8 stores.
17. Officeworks appointed as official supplier to Queensland Government.
18. Roy Morgan Research reports business confidence up in July while NAB says confidence remains low except in retail and wholesale.
19. British supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, eyes opportunities in Phillipines.
20. Domino’s Pizza to take 75% stake in Domino’s Pizza Japan.
21. Oroton inks new deal with Brooks Bros.
22. Alannah Hill leaves her iconic clothing label after 18 years.
23. US retailer, Nordstrum, lowers outlook following softer than expected sales.
24. China’s online sales continue to skyrocket and could overtake US as largest online market.

Saturday 17 August 2013

If You Were CEO For A Day –

With the market operating under interim CEO's (Victor Ailakis this month, Chris Mason next month) we thought this would be a good time to recall some quotes from traders on what they would do if made CEO for a day. We wonder if our interim CEO's could be tempted?

The interesting suggestion that we trade in M shed was made way back in April 2011 by Xenia Charalambous, long before String bean Alley came to fruition. Perhaps we should be consulting Xenia on when our renewal program is likely to get under way.

I'd give everyone a day off to spend with family.
I'd make M shed a trading part of the market.
I’d get all traders to do a survey to assess the general health of trade.
Put electricity in. I could do it myself.
Free rent for a week.
I’d make every member of government (all levels) and every QVM employee run a stall for a day so they would appreciate the importance of our activity and why our customers appreciate the uniqueness we offer.
Walk around all day and talk to traders about their concerns.
I would try to have a better understanding of stallholders and their individual needs.
Rent free if it's Sunday.
Advertising - big promotion.
I'd put in heating and I'd trade longer in summer.
I'd declare a smile day for traders at least once a week.
I'd re-route all airport buses via QVM.
I'd spend time talking directly with stallholders.
(P) Free rent for one day. (B)Free parking for stall holders.
I'd cover in open areas for customer comfort and I'd get rid of stall duplication.
Give each stallholder a slab of VB on Queens Birthday .
I'd take time to visit my loyal subjects.
We have much cultural diversity amongst our traders. I would like to see more cultural art from places like China, Turkey, Iran, Italy. More culture, less K- mart.
I'd hire a big bus and drive around Melbourne CBD collecting customers.
I'd put operating instructions on the knee taps in the ladies and I'd install heating.
I'd move my neighbour, Tim Moore, a few stalls away.

18/8/2013  1830  Stall Duplication - "I'd definitely get rid of stall duplication."

Friday 16 August 2013

More International Retailers Coming To Australia

It is not so many years ago that Australia was considered a bit of a back water in global retailing terms with a population too small to attract the big players. Now they are beating down our doors to become part of the Australian retail market and the latest is none other than UK's iconic department store Marks & Spencer.

The Australian Financial Review is reporting that Marks & Spencer are holding discussions with east coast shopping centres to evaluate opportunities. M&S looked at Australia back in 1998 in partnership with Just Jeans Holdings but a declining A$, and financial difficulties in Asia generally, put a stop to their plans. It is expected that M&S will concentrate on fashion and homewares in Australia.

Another retailing icon to prepare for our shores is Brooks Brothers the giant US clothing retailer who boast that they they have clothed 39 out of 44 US Presidents. Oroton is bringing Brooks Brothers to Australia as part of its move to cover the loss of the Ralph Lauren licence late last year. Brooks Brothers is famous for its suits and has over 500 stores worldwide.

David Jones and Dick Smith Sign Co-operative Deal

In yet another example of the changing nature of retailing, department store David Jones has signed a deal transferring management of its electronics business to Dick Smith Electronics beginning in October.

David Jones has struggled with profitability of its electronics business in a very competitive market. The new operation will be branded as David Jones Electronics Powered by Dick Smith. Dick Smith will take over all inventory and fixtures and fittings associated with electronics although the deal excludes whitegoods and small appliances.

Are You Melbourne’s Best Market Trader?

Do you fancy getting bragging rights as the best trader in your category at QVM, or in fact across all Melbourne’s markets, and getting some free publicity at the same time? The Melbourne Market Awards have been set up to recognise, celebrate and promote Melbourne’s best market traders and all you have to do is contact Misti Dullard to become involved.
 Promotional material will be provided free of charge and you will get some great interaction as your customers vote for you as their favourite trader. The process will culminate in an award ceremony during market week in September with plenty of free publicity for your business.
 Simply telephone Misti Dullard on 03 9320 5829 or email her at

It is time you showed your customers (and your competitors) who the best trader is, and you can have some fun along the way.

Have Your Say - click here.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Is QVM The Perfect Panacea For Retail Glitz?

According to the Wall Street Journal the lights are less bright in Apple's retail stores. Commentators are suggesting that consumers are becoming a little bored with the glitzy leader of worldwide retailing innovation largely because it has been months since a new ground-breaking product was announced. (Pundits are predicting September 10th for the next round of new Apple products) The pace of innovation among our retail leaders is quite blistering, matched only by the expectations of their customers. Pop-Up shops here, disappearing retailers there, the retail world is full of change and the pace is pretty hectic.

Is it just me, or can we all draw some comfort from our very traditional retail offer at The Queen Victoria Market? We just continue to provide reliable service dedicated to meeting our customers everyday needs. We need to keep up the standards obviously, and perhaps tweak a few changes to meet some of the recent innovations in communication but, like a Mother cares for her family, we can give our customers the warmth of reliable service and personal attention they expect from a traditional retailer. As long as our customers feel that way we can all prosper through the so-called retail revolution and leave the glitz to others.

Looking Back At The GFC & US Housing.

The GFC has had a huge impact on the world economy and is often seen as kick starting the new consumer frugality that is impacting so severely on retailing. So a recent overview published in the Harvard Business Review caught our attention and gave an interesting look back at one of the major factors in the whole disaster.

Just prior to the GFC, the US housing market was characterised by a high percentage of relatively risky loans. In fact, around half of all US mortgages were in this category and the majority were held by government or semi-government utilities. The government had drawn a connection between home ownership and responsible citizenship and so decided that the more Americans who were pushed into home ownership, the better off they, and the country, would be. Loans were granted freely, sometimes without any collateral at all.

Prior to this "free lending", home ownership only came about through diligent saving, working hard, and foregoing some of life's little luxuries. It required a responsible, considered approach to saving and home ownership. Removing those requirements had an unexpected (yet in hindsight, predictable) consequence as a large number of home owners defaulted on their loans and caused the collapse of the housing market and the financial structure built around it. Confusing cause and effect had a disastrous impact and we are all still adjusting to its consequences.  

Sunday 11 August 2013

Latest Retail News – 11/08/2013

Latest Retail News – 11/08/2013
1. UK Fashion store, Topshop, to open 4th Australian shop in Brisbane’s CBD.
2. KFC tops China’s most powerful retail brands list.
3. Catch of the Day launches ad campaign using Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame.
4. NAB says online sales growth slowing.
5. Big W expands online offer with women’s apparel.
6. June brings small increase in year on year retail sales according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.
7. Oroton says softer second half earnings will impact on bottom line. 
8. Retailers pleased with this week’s interest rate cut by Reserve Bank.
9. Dunn & Bradstreet says business confidence on the rise although capital investment and staff hiring remain sluggish.
10. National Retail Association says election uncertainty impacting on retail sales.
11. J C Penney hires ex Kraft marketing executive to assist turn around.
12. Bunnings sells 10 stores to real estate investor but leases them back.
13. Lacoste sets up online store in China.
14. McDonalds reports negative result in Australian operations.

Apple and QVM Have Something In Common

How could a technical giant of the digital age, Apple, have something in common with the ultimate traditional retailer The Queen Victoria Market? Obviously we are both retailers, but there is something that Apple concentrates on that QVM traders also have access to.

One of the first things you notice in an Apple store is the large number of sales staff. Apple ensure that they have an army of available sales staff so that within seconds of entering their store you are greeted by a friendly knowledgeable sales person. Sure, they are helped by lots of technical trickery but the essence of their service is personal attention, and if you have ever shopped at an Apple store, that service is very impressive.

Queen Victoria Market Traders don't have an army of sales assistants but we can offer the same sort of service. We operate on a much smaller scale but customers entering your stall have the same opportunity for friendly personal attention that many of our larger competitors are lacking. It is a competitive advantage we have over larger stores and, like Apple, we need to recognise its importance and make the most of it. Constantly improving our communication skills and giving personal attention to every customer is one of the best ways we have of ensuring a profitable business.

Have Your Say - click here

Where Are We Going?

Vision is an essential element in many aspects of life but in business it is critical. In fact, for traders, it is probably the most important single ingredient at this time. In this article we attempt to identify an important vision element.

Queen Victoria Market Traders are not alone in this search for direction. The global retail market is struggling to cope with wayward consumer sentiment. Myer CEO, Bernie Brooks recently observed - "The reality is that we've got a very frugal, a very difficult customer and one that we have to work harder to please."

Recent survey results suggest that consumers are not going through a passing phase of frugality. In fact they are becoming more likely to save rather than spend. So it is retailers who need to adapt. Retailers need to break out of the old ways and face the challenge of exciting their customers.

A full vision statement requires a lot of input from all stakeholders at QVM and, as much as we need it, that is not going to come from this article. But that shouldn't stop us from choosing a simple vision like "Creating a market stall that excites my customers and identifies me as a destination retail outlet superior to my competitors in mainstream retailing."

For many of us it is unlikely we can achieve that vision by presenting our Queen Victoria Market stalls in the same way as we have done for the last 5 or 10 years. Most of us need to raise the bar and to assist in that we have designed a self analysis questionnaire that identifies many of the things we need to consider. How do you rate on these criteria?

                                                                   Poor.    Below.    Average.    Above.    Very Good
                                                                                Average.                  Average
Overall stall presentation -
Individuality and point of difference -
Clear message -
Signage -
Quality of fittings -
Verbal presentation -
Attentiveness -
Product innovation -
Customer services (delivery, contact, etc.) -

Basically we are in competition with every other retail outlet in Melbourne (and online) and many if those are not going to survive. QVM Traders need to set a new standard of excellence to ensure our survival. Are you up for it?

Buses Mean Business

Trader Leah sent us this photo today (Sunday) and tagged it as a rare sight. Tourist buses depositing their shoppers at the top end of the market are very welcome. Just another reason why we need to leave Peel St. parking free of other vehicles. Buses mean business.

Have Your Say - click here

Friday 9 August 2013

Trader Gets School Visit

Trader Xenia received a visit from her grandson's class recently as part of a formal school excursion. The class was very keen to know how businesses operate at QVM . 

To avoid congestion, the class was broken up into three groups and each group checked out Xenia's stall and asked her questions about life at QVM. The students seemed to enjoy their little tour and the only question Xenia didn't answer was "How much money do you make?"

Sounds like a great day, but nobody enjoyed it more than a certain proud Grandmother.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Governance Protocols for QVM

A trader has asked for access to the Governance Protocols mentioned in our article "Councillors Heartened By Trader Request"

The Governance Protocols are basically the rules set up by Melbourne City Council for  engagement with its two wholly owned subsidiary companies, Citywide and QVM.

Strong Trader Presence at Melbourne Gift Fair

This weekend's Melbourne's August gift fair is a large event, taking up all of Jeff's Shed plus a number of pavilions at The Showgrounds.

It is the premier fair of its type in Melbourne and is a showcase for the latest gift and homewares ideas. The fair is strictly "trade only" and attracts retailers from all around Australia.

It is difficult to walk the halls without bumping into Queen Victoria Market Traders but this year we were impressed to find at least 7 traders were occupying stands at the fair and selling their products direct to the trade. They represented categories including toys, handbags and candles. It is good to see that traders continue to have influence in all aspects of retailing.

Monday 5 August 2013

Dandenong Market To Trade Sundays

Dandenong Market is to expand its trading days by opening on Sundays from October.
The market currently operates Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Chairwoman Julie Busch said that every other market was open on Sundays and their own research showed there was public support.

Some Dandenong Market traders are said to support the idea although a number already have other trading commitments on Sundays. The market plans a major marketing campaign to support the transition. 

Sunday 4 August 2013

Latest Retail News – 4/8/2013

Latest Retail News – 4/8/2013
1. Robins Kitchen wins Most Satisfied Customers award.
2. Nielson research says Australian consumer confidence on the rise.
3. Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in June quarter as expected.
4. ACCC questions spiralling petrol discount schemes offered by Coles and Woolworths.
5. Food and Grocery Council challenge planned food obesity ratings.
6. Saks Fifth Avenue sold to Canadian conglomerate, Hudson Bay.
7. PixiFoto Australia shuts down its business.
8. Best & Less launches plus size fashion at same price as normal range.
9. Dick Smiths opens new stores in Pitt St. Sydney and Lilydale.
10. Roy Morgan Research reports shoppers are noticing loss of key brands on supermarket shelves.
11. New owner of Borders bookstore brand to re-open in Singapore this year.
12. Overseas shoppers see Australia as one of the 6 key global online shopping destinations.
13. Boston Consulting Group says Australian consumers continue to prioritise saving over spending.

Interim CEO Arrangements

Chairman, Paul Guerra, has made the following announcement following the departure of CEO, jennifer Hibbs -

Dear Traders,
Given the departure of Jennifer Hibbs this coming Friday, we wanted to give you an update on the leadership of the Market.
We have commenced the recruitment of the new CEO, which will be handled independently by the Slade Group. The response to the advertisement in Saturday's paper has been exceptional, and we are delighted with the interest.
Between Jennifer's departure and the appointment of the new CEO, it is our intent to keep the existing management team in place, with an enhanced presence from the Board for this period. As has been the case during times when Jennifer has taken leave, one of the Executives will be asked to be the acting CEO for a period. From Monday August 5th, that will be Victor Ailakis, and for the month of September it will be Chris Mason.
We have confidence in the team continuing to operate the Market during this transition, and we welcome your support.
Kind regards
Paul Guerra


Marketing Manager Misti Dullard Resigns

Misti Dullard has resigned from her role as Marketing Manager at QVM to pursue other opportunities. Misti has been at the market for over 8 years and played a large part in the development of the night markets and other activities. She will finish at QVM in September. 

Three Seconds To Grab Your Customer’s Attention.

The front of your stall is considered the stage to your theatre. The way you present your stall is the key to impressing customers and maximising your potential sales for the day. And you only get 3 seconds to impress them.

If customers don’t get what you are offering they will continue walking. If you confuse them with clutter they will continue walking. If you present a display almost identical to other stalls in your vicinity, they will continue walking.

Selling the same sorts of products as other traders is a real problem at QVM. We have plenty of duplication. But you can overcome that by creating a difference in your display, it just requires some clever thinking. Be creative. Dedicate some space at the front of your stall for something eye-catching. Suspended products or products at crazy angles can catch the eye. A large space with just one product in it can do the same. Colour is a great attractor. A white dress on a bright red model may attract the interest you are looking for. An antique pram suspended in front of a children’s wear stall may attract the right attention. The opportunities are almost endless.

Traders have a lot to think about in a normal trading day and it is easy to become so engrossed in the detail that you miss the big picture. Here is a tip – take a walk away from your stall and then walk back pretending you are a customer. Does your stall stand out? Does it grab you? Does it tell you what you are selling at a glance. Remember, it has to do all that in 3 seconds. 

Friday 2 August 2013

PA System To Be Trialled For Wider Use

On Tuesday  6/08/2013  around 2pm-2.30pm QVM will conduct an audio test of the markets P.A. system to determine  the quality and feasibility of its use  as  an advertising tool designed to better inform and communicate with all our customers throughout the entire market precinct.

This is the first step in accessing the P.A.'s  capabilities of delivering a quality product over such a large area. There are some doubts about the ability of the current system and it may be necessary to consider an upgrade in the future. In the meantime, management and the TAC are working through the options.

The TAC (Traders Advisory Committee) is a body made up of 10 elected Trader Representatives. The committee is chaired by the QVM CEO. The TAC meets at regular intervals to consider and advise on market issues, and minutes are provided to the QVM Board. 

Have Your Say - click here

Barcelona – City of Markets.

There are 43 public markets in the city of Barcelona and they form a market system with no parallel in the world today.

Understandably, markets are integral to the cities shopping culture and 65% of shoppers use their local market to do their shopping.
The markets are characterised by a huge variety of food and knowledgeable vendors who sell it. Barcelona has successfully endured the transition from old ways of selling food to meeting the needs of a contemporary society and all the dynamic changes that go with it. 

Sourcing local produce was an imperative in old times and has become fashionable in the current debate over sustainability. Barcelona’s markets certainly support local produce but they also embrace globalisation and sourcing produce from all around the world. Their aim is to meet the lifestyle demands of their customers irrespective of where the produce is sourced.
In fact this willingness to adapt is considered one of the major reasons for the success of Barcelona’s markets. Being flexible and adjusting quickly to consumers needs is seen as an imperative.
Meeting customer needs is so important that supermarkets, rather than seen as the enemy, are embraced and form an important component of the market structure although they are generally a lot smaller than found in other parts of the developed world. “Instead of fighting the supermarkets, the traditional markets have instead incorporated them into the building, allowing people to get their fresh, quality food, but also buy their cleaning supplies, beer, and diapers, products that are not typically available in the public market.”
One of Barcelona’s strengths is the effectiveness of the umbrella organisation running the markets, the Institute of Municipal Markets of Barcelona. The IMMB concentrates on sustaining their markets and meeting the changing needs of consumers through effective local sourcing arrangements and establishing international connections with other market authorities. They recognise the hugely important cultural and social connections that markets provide not only in sourcing food but in providing places for human interaction.

Barcelona has a wonderful food culture and a strong market system. Translating the winning formula to other markets requires cautious evaluation. No two cities are the same, but Melbourne’s QVM can draw some lessons from the Barcelona experience-
   1. Focussing on consumer’s changing needs is an essential ongoing process.
   2. Being dynamic and flexible in your product sourcing is an imperative.
   3. A market has cultural and social ingredients that are inter-mingled with shopping.
   4. Market renovation and modernisation are essential but 4 ingredients must not change – quality, variety, professionalism and accountability.