Sunday, 13 October 2013

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