Thursday 31 October 2013

More News About Renewal Announcement

Here are some links concerning today's announcement by Premier Denis Napthine and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle on QVM market renewal.

ABC news item and video  -

Channel 10 video link -

Have Your Say - click here.

Channel 7 News Video of Market

Here is the video on Channel 7 News covering today's renewal announcement by Premier Denis Napthine and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

Have Your Say - click here.

Official Word On QVM Renewal

Here is the link to the official CoM page about renewal including an audio link to Lord Mayor Robert Doyle's discussion.

Queen Victoria Market Forever

Today's press announcement by Premier Dennis Napthine and Lord Mayor Robert Doyle marked the start of what has been called one of Melbourne's biggest ever projects - the renewal of The Queen Victoria Market. The announcement was made out of a String Bean Alley container with a theme of "Forever - Making A Great Market Even Better." 

The presentation highlighted a proposal to include a 1.3 hectare green park over the current carpark, the construction of an underground carpark, and a World Heritage Listing application for QVM. The project, which could involve investment up to $250m, would begin with a comprehensive consultation program to start almost immediately. 

The Premier and The Lord Mayor both listed trader concerns high on their agenda and traders have received some initial assurances that they will be involved at various levels of consultation.
In fact the recent announcement of Traders Representatives being included on a sub-committee of the QVM Board is confirmation of that assurance, and more importantly, the requested role of traders beyond consultation and into the actual decision making process.

Traders can expect much press activity around the project and it has been the lead item on ABC Radio news this morning. There will be plenty to view and read about our market over coming days and a public involvement that will hopefully include a boost in crowd numbers throughout the market.
Have Your Say - click here.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Traders Comments - continued

The original trader's proposal for lock up shops on 25/10/2013 has gained considerable reaction so we have posted the comment again along with some of the responses from other traders.

25/10/2013 10:28:36 Lock-Up Shops "I am wondering who thinks that maybe certain rows of the market(THE PART THAT WILL STAY AS A MARKET) should have lock up facilities in order to try and help attract future quality tenants.Obviously the problem with attracting new tenants, is the enormous workload and expense with manually setting and packing up." 

25/10/2013 10:53:54 Lock Up Shops "Not sure about mass lock up shops but I have often thought that 5 or 6 containers suitably spaced out in an aisle would add variety and could accommodate those who don't want packing/unpacking. Probably higher rents though. "

25/10/2013 15:26:50 Lock-Up Shops "Totally agree. of course the market would ask for higher rents. I do believe it will happen with our blessing or not. From experience I do no think the council or board of directors will ever let us know their true intentions.... "

26/10/2013 16:31:20 Lock up Shops "All or nothing what benefit is two types of trading. Some outside some in lockups. May as well change Market name to Queen Victoria Factory Outlets this will onlyspeed up the endof the largest outdoor market in the southern Hemisphere" JR EShed

30/10/2013 14:57:30 Lock-Up Shops "Who wants the largest outdoor market title, if it looks like that, is outdated, traders unprofitable.Let's re-introduce the typewriter, donkeys with carts, and big brick phones. Seriously we are very outdated with our thinking. We need to create concepts to survive and combine them with the old..." 

30/10/2013 15:03:08 Lockup Containers "I think that lockup containers spread around the market sounds like a great idea count us in !!! With some great artwork on them that we already have around the market. I always see the tourists taking photos of them." Fairydance

Saturday 26 October 2013

Latest Retail News – 25/10/2013

Latest Retail News – 25/10/2013

1. Myer adds warehouse facilities to boost its online capacity.
2. Woolworths withdraws from bidding on Hong Kong’s Park’n’Shop supermarket chain.
3. Western Australia economy outperforms other states with retail spending a key factor.
4. Australia Post’s profit up 10.9% for 2012/13 despite loss on regular mail.
5. CEO of David Jones resigns.
6. Retail legend Muji (Japans answer to Ikea) will open first Australian store at Chadstone Shopping Centre next month.
7. McDonald’s third quarter global profit rises by5%.
8. Commonwealth Bank says spending fell for first time in 13 months in September.
9. Wotif reports soft accommodation market despite rise in confidence post election.
10. Prada opens Tokyo megastore.
11. David Jones expected to look overseas for replacement for CEO Paul Zahra following shock resignation.
12. Ibisworld says hardware retailing expected to grow by 2.2% in 2013/14 with rise in housing construction and renovation.
13. Amazon opens distribution centre in Czech Republic as European sales increase.
14. Wesfarmers report Bunnings sales up 10% for September quarter while Target down 6.1%.
15. Super Retail Group plans 25 new stores in 2014.
16. Nike overtakes Billabong as favourite clothing retailer for Australia’s youth.
17. Online clothing giant, Asos, reports 40% increase in sales for 2013.
18. Sydney’s Greenwood Plaza Shopping centre launches rooftop garden for customer leisure.
19. CPI rises solid 1.2% in September.

Remote Control Tourist At QVM

We published an article recently about this exciting new tourism innovation, the Remote Control Tourist - and expressed the wish that the RTC would visit the Queen Victoria Market. Well, it has happened. Check out the video.

Have Your Say - click here.

Consumer Confidence Up But Where Are The Retail Sales?

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, released last month, increased by 4.7 per cent to its highest point in three years. The rise is put down to the federal election but a number of factors have raised doubts about whether that will translate into retail sales.

Retailing generally is continuing to struggle. The Commonwealth bank reports that consumer spending in September was down for the first time in 13 months. The Port of Melbourne Authority says that imports by retailers are down 1% over last year and last year was a poor result. Online accommodation giant, Wotif, have reported that holiday bookings are unusually soft and the toy industry is reporting that sales are down 2% for the year so far. At a recent AGM Pac Brands (Bonds clothing) CEO John Pollaers said preliminary indications showed that earnings and net profit in the first half of full year 2013/14 “may be materially down” compared to the previous corresponding period.

Australian Retail Association executive director Russell Zimmerman was reluctant to ‘‘put it down as a disastrous Christmas just yet’’, because consumer confidence appeared to have increased as a result of the change of federal government. But this would not be the first time that retailers have been puzzled by consumer responses. 

We are definitely breaking new ground with consumer attitudes and  many retailers will be looking nervously at October sales results. If trade at QVM is any guide, we shouldn't be expecting a great result and the retail dilemma continues.

QVM Needs An App

With mobile phones becoming increasingly popular with customers for retail engagement is it time QVM looked at creating its own app?

Apps are used by all the major department stores, most retail chains and most shopping centres. An app is a great way of guiding customers to the services offered by retailers and can offer a range of functions, even direct online purchases.

One key basic function of an app is to act as a directory and there are few places more confusing and more in need of directory advice than our own Queen Victoria Market. At the recent trader's meeting, Jan Cochrane-Harry raised the possibility of re-introducing an information booth to assist our customers. Not only do we have over 800 businesses spread over 7 hectares but many of our  traders change positions each trading day.

Add in different trading hours for different market sectors, no trading on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a confusing shed/aisle identification system, and we can understand why our customers need help. An app is a great way of feeding information to people and letting them concentrate on the central reason for visiting our market - to buy products.

A key ingredient of our iconic shopping experience at QVM is stepping back in time but when it comes to technology we need to look ahead. This is all about customer service and an app could be a great way of enhancing our appeal as a shopping destination.

Thanks to trader, Krista, for raising this idea.

Friday 25 October 2013

Google Maps For Shopping

Google Maps have introduced an indoor version of their street maps and it has great possibilities for retailing.

In fact most of the indoor sites listed for Australia are shopping centres. How does this work? Shopping centres upload floor plans of their centres to Google. Standard GPS location services don't work great indoors so Google links those plans with local wi-fi and telephone tower facilities. Once set up, customers can locate themselves within the building and use the maps to guide their shopping experience. In the CBD, Melbourne Central, and The Strand Arcade have the indoor map facility.

QVM's confusing spread of halls, sheds, shops and outdoor locations would seem to be a perfect target for this type of technology and linked with a database of stall/shop locations could be of great benefit to customers and traders.

Lifting Our Game – Paper Carry Bag Offer

As mentioned in a recent article we have contacted paper bag suppliers for pricing on paper carry bags. These may be of interest to traders who wish to upgrade their packaging from generic plastic bags.

Shop For Shops in Collingwood were quick to respond to our request. They have a simple two tier price system, one price for packs of 20 and another for box lots which may involve quantities anywhere between 100 and 400 depending on size. The box quantity attracts a saving of approximately 30% - see below.

Shop For Shops range can be found online at or you can contact them on 03 8419 9222 and ask for a catalog.

Traders Comments

The following comments have been received from traders over the past week - 

21/10/2013 06:47:11 Queen Street toilets "It's great to see all the ways stall holders can improve their offerings but  I believe we also have to look at services managed by QVM,. The Queen st toilets are disgraceful most Sunday. I appreciate that it's a crappy job, but it is important when you hear comments from people as they  walk out that they are unclean., up until 12 months ago they were kept in a good standard, so what has changed. It's not good enough to say they are under staffed, it is contracted out and should be at a high standard every day. "  

25/10/2013 10:28:36 Lock-Up Shops "I am wondering who thinks that maybe certain rows of the market(THE PART THAT WILL STAY AS A MARKET) should have lock up facilities in order to try and help attract future quality tenants.Obviously the problem with attracting new tenants, is the enormous workload and expense with manually setting and packing up."

Have Your Say - click here.

25/10/2013 10:53:54 Lock Up Shops "Not sure about mass lock up shops but I have often thought that 5 or 6 containers suitably spaced out in an aisle would add variety and could accommodate those who don't want packing/unpacking. Probably higher rents though. "

25/10/2013 15:26:50 Lock-Up Shops "Totally agree. of course the market would ask for higher rents. I do believe it will happen with our blessing or not. From experience I do no think the council or board of directors will ever let us know their true intentions.... "  

 26/10/2013 16:31:20 Lock up Shops "All or nothing what benefit is two types of trading. Some outside some in lockups. May as well change Market name to Queen Victoria Factory Outlets this will onlyspeed up the end of the largest outdoor market in the southern Hemisphere" JR EShed

Tuesday 22 October 2013

High Rise Apartment Building Planned Opposite QVM.

Melbourne CBD's tallest residential tower is to be built opposite the Queen Victoria Market in Elizabeth St.
The 72 storey tower is to be built as part of the State Governments plan for high density growth in selected areas of the state like the CBD. It will contain 542 apartments and house up to 2000 people.

New Advertising Style At QVM

This advertisement appeared in Monday's Herald-Sun and is a clear sign of QVM's new approach to marketing. We are particularly impressed by the upbeat presentation and the universal relevance to all areas of the market. And at last, a parking voucher.

25/10/2013 10:21:58 New Advertising Style at QVM "Has anything about the market changed or been upgraded to warrant new advertising yet? Customers who see this and come down, will they leave satisfied or disappointed?...."

Traders Receive City of Melbourne Commendation

At Monday night’s Lord Mayor’s Commendation ceremony over 50 of Melbourne’s small businesses were recognised including two QVM Traders. The commendations recognise the important contribution of small business to the fabric of Melbourne’s business, community, and social life.

Maggie Korda (centre in our photo) received a silver commendation for more than 25 years trading and is shown being toasted by previous recipients Annette Stanisich (gold) and and Suzanne Smith (silver). Carl Greco from the Bratwurst Shop in the deli hall received a Bronze commendation. All awards were presented by Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, and the evening featured excellent short videos about 4 of the recipients including a very touching and humorous video on husband and wife team Melhem and Zeina Sadaka who have operated City Tailoring in Swanston St. since 1988.

Performing our day to day business activities can be taken for granted at times and functions like this focus on the important contribution we all make to the City of Melbourne. Traders at Monday night's function agreed that more QVM Traders should take advantage of the opportunity to reflect on years of hard work and accept recognition in the City’s commendation program.

23/10/2013 10:56:09 Congratulations "Congratulation to all our award winners and it obviously shows that the traders at the Queen Victoria Market are working hard and trying to get the attention of their customers, the management and the City of Melbourne. I suggest for the next year award all the stall holders to be informed and each and everyone to be encouraged to participate in winning the awards."  
Actually we did advise traders of the upcoming 2013 awards on this website back in March. Next year we will need to make a bigger splash. - Ed.

Sunday 20 October 2013

Traders Need To Lift Their Game – Signage – Special Offer

Price signs are an essential ingredient for most traders and the quality of your product can be influenced by the quality of your signs. Finding time to create professional signs at the market can be a problem but we’ve found a way to do it on your smartphone and we have a special offer that will enable you to print some signs for free.

Communicating effectively with your customers and showing the right level of professionalism is important as we compete with other retailers both in stores and online. Signs can range from a professionally printed and laminated, well organised, attractively coloured, and clearly visible piece of work to a hastily written, poorly executed, dog-eared, piece of leftover box flap that really should have stayed in the rubbish bin. Fortunately the top standard can be created with very little work. In fact, as we have suggested, you can start the design process on your mobile phone.

Hand writing your signs is quick and easy but, unless you have sign-writing or calligraphy skills, don’t kid yourself, hand written signs look amateurish, and devalue your product. This is the digital age and digital skills are easy to come by.

Designing a digital sign doesn’t require a lot of expertise. Most word processors like Word enable you to select a dollar sign and a price and then simply increase the size of the font to give you a price sign of the required size. Change the colour of the letters and numbers (usually to red) and print out the file. Bingo! – there is your sign. For a bit more sophistication you may have software like Corel Draw or one of the Adobe software products. Experimenting with the type of paper or card you use, and the fonts you use will help improve your result.

Don’t have a reliable printer? Well, take your file to an Officeworks store and use their publishing facilities. It is just like printing photos from a camera. And a big advantage of digital signs is that you don’t have to go through the creative process when the signs get torn and tatty. Just reprint the file.

If you have an iPhone then we have another really convenient way of creating signs and a special offer for traders that will allow you to create some signs for free. Download an app from the Apple Store called Misigns. Misigns has a free basic version which is fine for experimenting. Simply follow the apps instructions to design your sign and then use the email option to send it to We will print up to 4 signs for your stall and deliver them to you at the market next Saturday. If you already have a printer you can email the sign to yourself, but either way feel free to try out the system. Your signs will be printed on 200gsm A4 size (standard letter size) card. If you want smaller signs, please let us know how many signs you want on an A4 page. So, for standard 6*4 photo size signs, ask for 4 signs on a page. Don’t forget to give us your Saturday stall location in the email and perhaps a contact phone number would be handy.

The Misigns app doesn’t have a lot of flexibility. There is only one size font although you can select upper or lower case and you can select the colour of your lettering. Its killer feature is that you can easily design professional looking signs on your phone, at the market, and then just print them out when convenient. No doubt there will be traders with a wealth of experience in ways to create and print signs for their stall. We'd love to hear from you.

Latest Retail News – 20/10/2013

Latest Retail News – 20/10/2013

1. Boost Juice owners consider sale or public listing.
2. Aldi set to expand into South Australia.
3. ACCC backs move to use PINs as sole form of authorisation for credit card transactions and remove signing option by 2015.
4. Michael Hill Jewellers report 8.7% rise in first quarter earnings.
5. Cafe and coffee shop industry expected to continue growth for next 5 years.
6. McCafe concept to be rolled out in India.
7. Productivity Commission says regulators need to do more to reduce red tape for small business.
8. Australia Post and Telstra work together on new postal tracking service from source to destination.
9. Oxfam calls on Target to pay compensation to families of Bangladesh factory fire victims.
10. ACCC warns retailers about sourcing low value unsafe goods from overseas.
11. Ibisworld says ice cream stores expected to continue growth of 2.2% pa over next 5 years.
12. Swedish apparel brand, Cheap Monday, to open stores in China.
13. Myer and Witchery introduce phone apps to replace loyalty cards.
14. Ex CEO of fashion group, Burberry, to join Apple’s retail division.
15. Direct razor blade seller, Dollar Shave Club, to expand its operation in Australia.
16. Coffee Club launches first drive through store as part of re-branding.
17. UK newsagent W.H.Smith plans expansion into India, Malaysia, and Australia.
18. Coles launches contactless credit card that sticks to the back of mobile phones.
19. Woolworths is preparing to submit a final bid for Li Ki-Shing’s ParknShop, the second largest grocery chain in Hong Kong.
20. Indian manufacturer and retailer of tableware, Clay Craft, opens first store in Australia.
21. Burberry records double digit sales growth in Asia-Pacific.
22. Australian Government to abolish Carbon Tax as of July 2014.
23. Costco plans to enter petrol business in competition with Coles & Woolworths.
24. David Jones puts cap on executive salary following reduced profit from Amex credit card arrangement.
25. Australian jewellery store, Status, placed into liquidation.

Car Park Hog at QVM

When you own a Ferrari you are probably a little more conscious than most about avoiding car park dings. But we think this owner has taken things a little too far by taking up two car spaces for his exotic piece of machinery. Let's just hope that he or she spent double the amount of the average customer to compensate. At least there is not much chance it is a stall holder. Sigh!
Thanks to Tony for the photo.

New Ways For Customers To Pay.

Card payment systems are revolutionising the retail market.
This week Coles introduced the Coles Mastercard Pay Tag which is basically a credit card allowing contactless payments but it sticks to the back of your phone. Mobile phones have long been touted as a way of making payments using their NFC (Near Field Communications) facility but until iPhone adopts the system it probably won't take off. In the meantime a stick on card seems a good idea.
Another interesting piece of news from one of our traders concerns our mobile EFTPOS machines. National Bank have introduced a contactless PayWave machine. At least one such machine is operating in the market. PayWave offers substantial time savings during transactions so we can expect traders to start hounding their banks for the facility.

Have Your Say - click here.

Follow Up On Paper Carry Bags

Just to let traders know that, as a result of the interest shown by a number of traders, we have asked three local paper bag suppliers (BeeDee Bags, O'Kelly's, and Shop for Shops) to contact us with offers for traders who wish to convert from plastic bags to paper bags. We will keep all traders informed of developments.

Have Your Say - click here.

24/10/2013 14:26:49 Paper  Bags "Stephen from QIS Packaging here. Thanks very much for mentioning us here. Just thought I'd mention that we sell Paper Bags in small quantities, and can provide custom printing on Paper Bags (minimum order volumes apply)." Stephen

Friday 18 October 2013

Apple's Killer Feature For Retailers

Apple's new IOS7 operating system includes provision for a  brand new customer engagement system called iBeacon. An iBeacon is a tiny radio hotspot using Bluetooth 4.0. Each hotspot operates over a radius of about 50 metres in a store, a shopping mall, an office building, a car park, a school, a hospital or even a street - anywhere people might need information, directions, or to make a transaction. iPhones already have the ability to interact with this technology.

iBeacon is a competitor for NFC (Near Field Communications) which is a technology similar to contactless credit card systems. NFC is found in many phones (not Apple) but needs really close proximity to work whereas iBeacon creates a much bigger map of customer engagement.

Imagine walking into a store and heading for the clothing department. iBeacon would present you with an overview of special offers. Stand in the jeans section and get a message about the latest stock arrivals. Then try on a pair of jeans and receive an offer on matching accessories.Retailers would receive valuable information about consumer preferences and customer flow. It is all about targeting your most likely customer.

The tiny iBeacon radio boxes are already in production. Apple has open-sourced its connecting software to allow app developers to build apps that will enable consumers and retailers to interact.

We have briefly mentioned this type of customer interaction on this website before but expressed the fear that the technology would only be accessible to bigger retailers. Now that we know more about iBeacon, it sounds like technology that any retailer (including market traders) could use.

On a wider scale, iBeacon is seen as perfect technology for guiding visitors around a museum for instance, using a network of beacons. What about a market where traders are spread far and wide and many change positions from day to day? The possibilities for QVM could be very interesting.

Traders Meeting - 17/10/2013

The meeting of General Merchandise Traders held in the QVM Food Court yesterday (Thursday) was called to give an update on the renewal process.

Traders received presentations from Trader Representatives, Joe Stolarek, Stephen McLennan, Jenny Pyke and Greg Smith. Kon Kardaras gave an insight from the deli traders point of view and it was great to have a contribution from a couple of our friends in the fresh food area - Kon, and George Milonas who represented meat and fish traders. Communications Consultant, Jan Cochrane-Harry, gave an insight into some of the issues being considered by management and then took a number of questions from the floor.

Traders were reminded that visiting is a great way of keeping informed on the latest developments in the market and will be particularly important as the renewal process moves forward. 

Sunday 13 October 2013

Latest Retail News – 13/10/2013

Latest Retail News – 13/10/2013

1. Topshop opens first store in Perth.
2. Calvin Klein Underwear and Calvin Klein Jeans to unite under one brand.
3. Germany’s billionaires list has three retailers at the top with Aldi’s owner the richest.
4. Salvo’s launch pop-up store with vintage market feel.
5. Walmart launches its own reality TV show to find new product entrepreneurs.
6. Online success, Shoes of Prey, wins international Store Design of the Year award for its bricks’n’mortar concession at David Jones, Sydney.
7. Metcash expands its new Harvest Market fresh food concept in Sydney’s Rouse Hill.
8. NAB survey says business confidence at its highest level since 2010 following coalition victory.
9. Oroton opens its first permanent site in Hong Kong.
10. Macy’s puts its China expansion on hold until it finds out more about the local consumer market.
11. GraysOnline receives record fine for breaching anti-spam laws.
12. Westpac consumer confidence records drop in October following September surge.
13. Australian surfwear retailer, Quicksilver, opens largest store in Jakarta.
14. Kathmandu launches new mobile website.
15. Bright Eyes sunglasses chain (140 stores) sold back to original owners.
16. Australians spent $15 billion on fast food in past 12 months.
17. Pack and Send launch cut price competition with Australia Post in parcel delivery.
18. Coles has signed on Heston Blumenthal while Woolworths has partnered up with Jamie Oliver in new battle for consumers. 
19. Reject Store opens its 300th store in Rockdale NSW.

Traders Need To Lift their Game – Packaging

There was a report this week of a new business consciousness developing in the US - care more, take less, give back.

The new consciousness is part of a worldwide move to responsible business decisions and addresses the social, economic and environmental neglect of the past. One of the earliest aspects of this new responsibility was sustainable packaging as visions of marine creatures wrapped in plastic waste were flashed over our screens and newspapers. The public backlash to plastic packaging caused change including the move by our own QVM to biodegradable packaging in our fresh food areas.

Regrettably much of the top end of QVM still uses standard plastic packaging usually in the form of carry bags. Paper packaging has taken a new role as its inherent biodegradable qualities and the introduction of sustainable forest practices pushes it to the forefront. Traders could consider paper as an option that is not only environmentally sustainable but shows off their product in a more professional manner.

Of course paper costs more and the environmental consideration needs to be supported by a product profit ratio that can support more expensive packaging. A medium paper carry bag with twist handles costs around 45 cents and printing adds 20-30 cents. An option may be to print your own labels. That bag will hold goods up to the size of a couple of adult jackets or a couple of lounge cushions up to 10 kilos in weight. You may not need carry bags that large of course.

It is worth investigating the option of paper carry bags and the benefits you could gain from customer recognition of your environmental credentials as well as the pride you display in your products. Let's face it, cheap plastic bags say something about your product. There are many sources of paper carry bags on the web. In no particular order we came across the following this week.

We’d love to hear from traders who can recommend particular bag suppliers.

14/10/2013 02:24:55,Paper Bags,"We have used Paper carrier bags with twist handles from Bee Dee for the last two years.  Whilst they are not the cheapest, the product is good and they have an extensive range. Regards Terry Lawn Airllywood",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

14/10/2013 07:27:40,Paper Bag merchants,"Another paper bag merchant is The O'Kelly Group 03 9706 4656.  They have a rep that visits the market every Friday and deliver to the market weekly.
They sell a range of goods from paper bags, eftpos and register rolls, degradable plastic bags.  The minimum order is reasonable.",,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

14/10/2013 15:48:14 Paper bags "If one important factor in assisting traders to move to the paper bag option is to minimize the cost to purchase the more expensive paper ( better both in terms of sustainability and aesthetics ) wouldnt it make more sense to see if traders can buy 'together' rather than each one buying individualy.
I would think that should allow a considerable reduction in price. Perhaps QVM can assisit in some way, even if only as a 'go between' and to help get this started."  

15/10/2013 17:43:38 Paper Bags "If you decide to get a bulk buying order together, count us in." Terry Lawn   

16/10/2013 20:06:43 Paper bags "I get my paper bags from shop for shops, not cheap but once I stamp them with our logo, they do look good, I'm happy to spend a bit more for the sake of presentation as I feel it is appreciated by the customers." Tony  

24/10/2013 14:26:49 Paper Bags "Stephen from QIS Packaging here. Thanks very much for mentioning us here. Just thought I'd mention that we sell Paper Bags in small quantities, and can provide custom printing on Paper Bags (minimum order volumes apply)." Stephen


General Merchandise Traders Meeting – Thursday 17th.October

General Merchandise Traders Meeting – Thursday 17th.

All General Merchandise Traders have been invited to a meeting in the market food court on Thursday 17th October at 3:00pm.
The meeting is to give an update on the QVM renewal process and follows similar meetings for deli and meat/fish traders.
The meeting has been called by your GMT Trader Representatives and will include a presentation from QVM Communications Consultant Jan Cochrane-Harry.

Traders Need to Lift Their Game

Trader Representatives are very active in trying to get a better deal for their traders. Addressing the poor management practices and neglect of the past is a considerable task but, like many things in life, this is a two way street, and traders have their own obligations to making QVM a better retail place. Teamwork will be an essential ingredient in the process.

There is no denying that the top end of QVM has room for improvement. There are aspects of the way we do business that can be made a lot better, improve our image, and in the process generate more business. Here are some key areas -

Stall Presentation. - some simple suggestions.
     - Stall cloths are important to the look of your stall. New cloths make your stock look fresh. Old cloths make stock look old. A spring clean can make us all feel good.
     - Are you still using old hand written price signs? Fresh signs can make your stock look fresher.
     - Boxes and motor vehicles in your stall. Try to cover up boxes and vehicles from view. An attractive stall presentation can be spoilt by distractions.
     - Boxes and motor vehicles in empty stalls. Same as above. Please do not use empty stalls as a car park or storage shed.
     - Fittings. How old are your fittings? Would a more modern racking, or display solution look better and perhaps save you set-up and pack-up time? When was the last time you invested in fittings?

Customer Service. The market prides itself on customer service. Here are some points to consider.
     - Making your customers feel welcome can pay dividends. A simple "Hello" may be all that is needed to start the discussion.
     - Mobile phones are a modern communication tool and very useful for engaging with customers but they can also be a distraction if used for other purposes.
     - Today's customers look for different ways of engaging with their retailers. Are you contactable? Do you have business cards for customers? Do you have a website, or at least an entry on the QVM website? What if customers want to purchase goods from you after they leave the market.
     - Packaging. Most of our customers in the top end are tourists. Do you offer packaging to help ensure their purchases get home safely?
     - Product knowledge is important and stall holders are good in this area. But what about your staff?
     - Smoking can be real turn off for customers. If you smoke please consider customers (and fellow traders).
     - Do you have up-to-date payment facilities? EFTPOS facilities are now expected at all levels of retailing. Making it easy for your customers to pay just makes good business sense.
      - Keeping aisles clear. Our customers deserve uninterrupted access to stalls during trading hours. Removing boxes and vehicles as early as possible in the morning and re-entering as late as possible in the afternoon allows us to maximise business opportunities.
      - Noise pollution. Loud music can be distracting and a turnoff for customers. Consider your customers and your neighbour's customers when you set your music volume.

Like we said, improving QVM is a two-way street. We are keen to get QVM to spend more of their resources on marketing to our customers. Our part of the bargain is to raise the standard of our stall presentation and customer service. Traders working in unison, as a team, will enhance that process.

Have Your Say - click here.

08/10/2013 15:34:36 Stall cleanup "We would love to spruce up our stall but the funds are just not available to us  on such low earnings .  All the   spruce ups in the  world will not change the current customer attitude which is driven by lower prices they are Dollar driven when shopping in the Market otherwise they would be at the top end of Collins Street". AR    E Shed

13/10/2013 11:18:15 Lifting Standards "So what do we do AR? Do we lie down and cop it? Or do we strive to improve our offer? I don't necessarily want the Collins St. shoppers but attracting a few from the Bourke St. Mall would be most welcome."

14/10/2013 02:37:42,Pop up Stalls,"I totally agree with the trader’s submission of 4th October posted at 20:34hrs.  Having Pop up stalls owned and run by multinationals in prominent market locations simple ignores some of the short comings currently in the Market.  Both Management and traders need to focus (and enforce) some of the rules that are flouted.  
Keep the lane ways clear – if you can’t park on your site put the car in the car park.
Set up before trading hours 
Do not take down (and move boxes around the Market) before close of business
Improve lighting
Provide power to sites
Hand written signs 
Dirty sheets covering tables
Presentation is a big part of marketing and simply heaping cheap imported products on a table will not help you and it brings down the tone of the Market.  
Back to the “Pop up Stall” idea….. The QVM should be a shopping experience and a place to find items not normally found in shopping precincts.  When people go on holiday, they like to see and buy something different.  Already multi nationals have destroyed several holiday shopping locations – visit Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsular and Airlie Beach in Queensland to see classic examples – no need to spend money in these locations as you can buy it at home and save the hassle of excess luggage.
If we agree that presentation of products is important, why not offer prime market locations to traders that currently make some effort in showcasing their products?",Terry Lawn,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, 

14/10/2013 16:10:34 Traders Need to Lift Their Game "The market is a low entry cost option for independent, family run operations it IS NOT a place for multinationally owned and run businesses. The suggestion of utilizing and creating a 'pop up' concept is about creating diversity and enhancing the product mix it is not and should not be used to facilitate a market 'take over' by large companies."  

16/10/2013 20:11:10 Stall presentation "Well said Terry." Tony