Thursday 30 January 2014

Latest Retail News – 30/1/2014

Latest Retail News – 30/1/2014

1. New home sales have increased for the first time since the GFC hit in 2008.
2. Australian online tailor, Institchu, is expanding into the UK.
3. NZ franchise accused of firing three staff via Facebook.
4. UK’s Barclays Bank to close 400 branches in favour of smaller supermarket sites.
5. Successful US mobile payment company, Square, rumoured to be coming to Australia.
6. JB Hi-Fi’s December half profit up 10% due customer loyalty.
7. Cotton On group prepares for expansion into Brazil, Columbia, and Panama.
8. Deloittes suggest retail will benefit from lower Australian dollar and increased wealth.
9. Starbucks sales growth slows but profit jumps.
10. Coke Zero in 1.25l bottles to be offered for $1 in February Woolies promo.
11. Indonesia’s retail sector expected to grow faster than other markets.
12. Deals Direct lists on Australian share market.
13. US consumer confidence rises in January.
14. David Jones combines customer innovation with marketing and financial services in new executive position. 
15. UK supermarkets Tesco, Waitrose, and Asda, plan grocery collect lockers at tube stations. 

Four Tips for Market Success in 2014.

It’s a new year and advice flies thick and fast for retailers prepared to tackle new consumerism. We have tried to pick through all the various articles and come up with some ideas particularly relevant for Queen Victoria Market traders.

1. New and exciting is the buzz phrase for consumers. Consumers are in the box seat. They want to be excited every time they go out shopping so looking for new things is important. Before you get depressed about all the stock you are already holding, new and exciting may just mean presenting your things in a different way.
2. Know what your competitor is offering. This is talking about your biggest competitor – online. We may be in an old-fashioned, traditional retail environment but our customers are up with the latest technology and doing a lot of their research online. Google your products and see what your customers are looking at. Are the products that come up in a Google search found at your stall? Is your price close? You don’t have to be cheaper. There is growing evidence that consumers are prepared to pay a little more for good personal advice and service. But if Google says the best product for a particular purpose is Widget A, you had better have Widget A, or something really close.
3. Product Individualisation. In a mass production world, customers like to think they can get something that is special to them. If you can provide that special little difference it may be the clincher in a sale. That difference may be in colour or texture or size and it may be very small but also very influential.
4. Seamless Shopping. Shopping used to be around shopping trips. Now it is conducted anywhere, anytime, in many different ways. When your customer wants to buy, you need to be there. And that seamless accessibility can simply be from the business card you gave out on your customer’s last visit with your telephone number and, ideally, your website on it. Or you could be featured on the QVM website which gives you a good chance of coming up in a Google search.

These are just a few ideas and possibly a good starting point for your market business. Look around at some of the better operators at QVM and there is a very good chance that they do each of these 4 things really well.

Have Your Say – click here.

Monday 27 January 2014

Do Your Genes Say Night Market or Day Market


An interesting article on Smart Company this week talked about how our circadian rhythms mess around with a normal 24 hour day (adding 15-20 minutes per day) and how our genes often make us more disposed to night time or day time operations. Are you a morning person or a night person, and how do you handle the conflict with your actual working demands?

If you are night person but forced to arrive at the market at 6:30am each trading day then there can be problems. But an Associate Professor at Queensland University says there are ways to minimise the impact of working at your less preferred end of the day and adjusting to that crazy circadian rhythm cycle.

One of the key ways is to establish a routine that helps to override what your body is telling you. Things like regular wake-up times (even on non-working days), regular breakfast patterns, and then scheduling that cup of coffee at the same time, all help.

Light is another important factor. Our bodies produce a hormone called Melatonin which basically makes us sleepy. It is less active when there is light. So when you wake up in the morning and throw aside the curtains to let the sun in you are helping your body wake. On the other hand, if you stay up late looking at strong light sources like your computer or mobile phone you are inhibiting your body's readiness for sleep.

So, there are some tips for handling the various impacts of genes, time and light on our working day but if you work both the night market and the day market, you have our sympathy.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Happy Australia Day!

To all traders, their families and staff, and to all members of the management team -

 Happy Australia Day!!!!!!

Latest Retail News – 26/1/2014

Latest Retail News – 26/1/2014

1. Confectionary brand, Kit Kat, opens first ever retail concept in Japan.
2. Singapore company buys Gloria Jeans coffee shop global brand.
3. Major US retailer,, accepts Bitcoin.
4. Fake luxury goods booming in India.
5. Burger chain, Grill’d, gives free beer and burgers if temperature reaches preset target.
6. Australian Stationery chain, Smiggle, to roll-out in UK.
7. Young Generation Z’s less likely to buy Australian made.
8. China’s retail sales rise 13.1% in 2013.
9. Credit card signatures phased out by 31st July 2014.
10. ACCC grants interim permission to Victorian newsagents to collectively bargain with Tatts and Intralot lotteries.
11. CBRE says Vietnam presents strong growth possibilities for retail.
12. McDonalds reports disappointing quarterly sales.
13. Reject Shop share price falls 33% following disappointing comparable store sales.
14. David Jones accepts Union Pay, China’s national debit/credit card.

Most Significant Change In Retail Since ‘60’s

Deloittes in the US have described the current dramatic changes in retailing as the biggest thing since the big-box discounters like Wal-Mart began to gain momentum in the 1960’s.
The recent Retail Federation convention in New York described some of the major problems for retailing – 
1. Physical stores have become boring.
2. Mobile phones are being used more often but they are not a great way to shop.
3. Privacy has become a major issue as shoppers are asked to give more information in exchange for deals.
4. Discounting has become endemic and it is hurting the bottom line.
5. Neglecting the retail basics. We need to get back to the basics of an enjoyable, reliable shopping experience.

Have Your Say - click here.

Contact at Shop for Shops

We recently posted about a special deal available to QVM traders at Melbourne's Shop for Shops outlet. They have now advised us that Andy Nguyen is their "go to" man for traders. "Andy works in our Custom Solutions (Shop Fitouts) Team and also has an extensive knowledge of our Off The Shelf range. In an added bonus Andy drives past QVM twice a day so is well placed to meet with stall holders when needed."
You can call Shop for Shops on 1300 11 SHOP

Consumer Confidence Falls

Westpac – Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment fell 1.7% to its lowest level since last year’s federal election.
The loss of 22,600 jobs in the December employment figures worked against the usual boost in confidence during the festive season.

Westpacs Chief Economist, Bill Evans, said “Typically the January survey shows a strong seasonal upward bias because of the ‘holiday effect’ and seasonal adjustment is important to gauge the underlying strength of the index - for example, over the last 5 years on a seasonally unadjusted basis the index has risen by an average of 5 per cent in January,” Mr Evans observed in the report. “The unadjusted lift in January 2014 was a comparatively modest 2.5 per cent, emphasising the softish nature of the result.”

Thursday 23 January 2014

Computer Market Comes to QVM

Australia Day, Sunday, is an important day for lots of reasons including the introduction of a computer market under our sheds.

QVM are promoting a special Australia Day with a World BBQ on Queen St. the String Bean Alley Design Market and Victoria’s Largest Technology Market at the Peel St. end of A shed.

The BBQ will be a multicultural treat with Aussie beer available and the Technology market will feature retailers, wholesalers, and importers with a whole lot of tech stuff. More details on the QVM website. Definitely a day to look forward to for lots of reasons.

Sunday 19 January 2014

It Was Hot Enough To......

Last week’s record heatwave caused distress and confusion to many QVM traders and customers. Traders who made the decision to stay away may be interested in our photo which shows caricaturist, Ivano’s, drawing pencil during the 43 degree Thursday (probably hotter under the sheds).
Traders who did trade don’t need reminding, but we would be interested in your stories anyway.

Should We Have A 40 Degrees Rule At QVM?

After the pain and discomfort of 4 consecutive days of 40C+ traders are asking if QVM should have special provisions for trading in extreme heat. There are many ways that extreme heat impacts on traders. There is the debilitating effect of heat on our health,  the lack of business as our customers stay away,  and the impact on our stock and equipment.

Like many issues we face at QVM this is not an easy fix. There are just so many considerations. Customers have a right to expect market service even if they only turn up in small numbers. Not all traders would want to close the market on extreme heat days (as some have suggested). We understand that a number of traders did quite well over this week of heat records although that may be due more to reduced competition than anything else.

It has been suggested that 40C+ days should be free choice days, and that absence on those days should not come off leave entitlements. There is little doubt that more leave would not be favoured by management and balancing the needs of traders with the need of management to collect rent is an ongoing argument. But at least traders should have the choice of trading or not trading in extreme heat and, at the moment, SL traders don't have that choice because they are not allowed single day absences. There is an argument that all traders should be able to choose to take leave in extreme circumstances depending on their personal physical condition, the nature of their business, and their responsibilities to staff and family. This restriction on SL Traders needs to be changed.

There is another aspect of heat that needs to be addressed and it is particularly obvious under the sheds. We haven't yet documented temperatures under the tin roof but it is generally conceded that you can add another 3-5 degrees to the outside temperature on a hot day. Prahran, Dandenong, and South Melbourne markets all have cooling systems of some sort under their roofs. Like with our lighting, it would appear we have a lot of ground to make up just to meet minimum standards. 

19/01/2014 16:42:04 Heatwave "We traded every day and were pleasantly surprised with the take.  It seemed that there were only 10% - 15% of traders and very few visitors, however, those that braved the weather were there to shop, not kick the tyres." Terry Lawn (Airllywood)  

26/01/2014 10:30:53 Heat rule "I agree that we need a rule for the extreme heat. All industries are required under OH&S requirements to have something in place, to ensure the safety of those working. Yes we are all self employed, and therefor responsible for this ourselves, but in saying that, we are all on a license of some form, governed by the QVM PTY LTD, making the market responsible for implementing a rule. I agree that these days should be free days, in both rent, and leave entitlements. I did not work Thursday or Friday, and this was a personal choice, but not due to the heat, but the severe fire dangers predicted in my region. This was justified with several fires that burnt within a few km's of my house, and l was able to take necessary steps to protect my family and property. I would like to point out though, Neil Mitchell on 3AW was advising people the market was CLOSED due to the extreme heat, which was wrong."

Considering Changing Your Product Range?

The New Year brings with it an opportunity to review your market business and make plans for 2014. Retailing is going through a difficult time and it is important that we constantly look for innovative ideas to make our business more attractive to consumers.

Part of your plan may include adding new products or even completely changing your product range. There have been a number if articles on this website about the repetitive nature of some categories at QVM and, maybe you have considered a change of direction. Changes can certainly be made although obviously you need management approval and QVM management have offered a service that may assist.

Victoria Niewalda has been engaged by QVM to assist traders in evaluating their retail operations. Victoria will be attending the upcoming Melbourne Gift Fair and is happy to meet with traders and discuss their product range options. Simply give her a call on 0419 548 815 to start the process or talk to one of your Trader Representatives.

With the Melbourne Gift Fair coming up (1-4 February) the time is right for considering options in the gift, homewares, jewellery, and handbag categories but traders in all categories are welcome to ring Victoria and discuss their retail needs.

Finally - A Use For 3D Printing

As a retailer I am always looking for innovative ways to excite my customers and 3D printers seem to have fascinating possibilities. For the un-initiated 3D printers are desktop printers that produce solid 3 dimensional objects, usually made by plastic extrusion, which can do their manufacturing in your home, office, or warehouse. Just program in the item you want and press the button.

I'm sure these things could be very useful and in fact there are some breakthroughs for medical technology but for mass appeal so far all I have seen are some pretty cheap looking plastic figurines that are hardly exciting the senses. But now I see the light. US chocolate maker, Hershey's, have just signed up a deal to create 3D printers that make things out of chocolate. Just put in the right software and you can pretty much produce any item out of chocolate. Now that has real possibilities. And just think, you can eat the failures! 

Friday 17 January 2014

Latest Retail News – 17/1/2014

Latest Retail News – 17/1/2014

1. Rolex open their first Australian standalone store in Sydney’s Martin Place.
2. Iconic discounter, Dimmeys, placed in administration.
3. Victorians now considered the nation’s most anxious people due struggling manufacturing and automotive sectors.
4. Costco plans 4th Melbourne outlet at Moorabbin.
5. Target’s US website hacked and customer details, passwords exposed.
6. US outfitter, Brooks Bros, to open first Melbourne store at Emporium in February.
7. Coles and Woolworths rank amongst world’s top 20 retailers.
8. David Jones strengthens local exclusive brands with 6 new labels.
9. Ibisworld predicts slow progress for sun glasses sector over next 5 years.
10. Retail sector welcomes Federal Government push to get rid of red tape.
11. Nike opens tennis court on top of Melbourne Central to attract tennis tourists.
12. Snooze and Freedom unveil new store concept.
13. Super retail Group shares dive as sales forecasts reviewed.
14. US department store, J.C.Penney, announces loss of 2000 jobs and 33 store closures during revamp.
15. Apple to open Australian flagship store in Brisbane.
16. ACCC urges government to sell Australia Post.
17. Brisbane online retailer first to use Australia Post’s 2U2day service for same day delivery.

UK Supermarket Responds To Dramatic Shift In Consumer Habits

One of the UK’s major supermarkets, Sainsbury’s, has just announced that it now has more convenience store outlets than supermarkets.
The chain is embarking on a major expansion of its convenience stores as consumers show a preference for shopping little and often. The trend helps customers to stick to their weekly budgets and cut down on waste.
UK supermarket giants, Saisnbury’s, Tesco, and Morrisons, all reported poor sales in the lead up to Christmas. Sainsbury’s sales growth was only 0.2% in the lead up while its convenience stores sales were up almost 18% and online up by 10%.

An analyst for UK’s Rabobank said that the trend towards convenience stores was also creating “hybrid customers” who were comfortable purchasing at the premium and non-premium ends of the buying spectrum.

Four Big Technology Trends for 2014

This year’s Consumer Electronics event in Las Vegas has identified four key areas for domination in 2014.

Self Driving Cars – cars that navigate on auto pilot and a huge range of gadgets and devices for automobiles were a big hit at this years show.
Smart TV’s – not just smart TV’s but big TV’s with even more detail plus TV’s that bend.
Smart Home Integration – Google just paid over $3billion for a manufacturer of fire detectors and home appliance controllers. This sector is set to boom. Everything from electronic locks that automatically unlock as you approach your front door (with your mobile phone) to lights that go on and off as your enter and leave.
Android Operating System – the PC world is dominated by Windows and Apple operating systems but the news that Android is joining the fray could have big implications.

Instant Messaging Replaces SMS

In the UK more messages are now sent by instant messaging apps like Whatsapp and Snapchat than traditional SMS. And this is part of a global trend.

Generally, instant messaging apps require smart phones and can only be used if the particular app is on the sender’s and the receiver’s phone. But, because they are free, instant messaging apps are leading the race. This trend may have implications for retailers as they communicate with their customers.

Beacon Kits Launched for Retailers

Apple has been developing its new iBeacon technology which facilitates connection between retailers and the customers near their stores.

Now a company has released a retail iBeacon kit that brings the concept to reality. The basic kit will provide two iBeacons (with two year battery life and 60 metre range) plus the software to start communicating with customers.

Communication to phone users could include special offers, payment options, or product information. The kit also helps track customer behaviour including how many take up an offer. Kits start at 249 Euros (around A$380). Find out more by clicking here - Beaconic

New Cafe Concept Charges By The Minute

A new concept out of London has turned the cafe industry on its head by charging 3 pence (around 5 cents) per minute for time spent at their tables.

Everything in the cafe is free including tea, coffee, biscuits, toast, and fruit & vegetables. It is all pretty much self serve and customers are given a big clock to put on their table so they can keep track of time. The idea addresses the problem of maximising profit from every seat in the house. It is a global problem for cafes that customers tie up space for hours, often using free wi-fi but only purchasing a cup of coffee.

Industry commentators have called the idea a gimmick that is unlikely to take off in Australia.

Which Industries Will Boom and Which Will Bust in 2014

Ibisworld predicts that organic farming will thrive in 2014 along with diamond & gemstone mining, superannuation funds, online shopping and internet publishing & broadcasting.

Australia’s organic farming is expected to increase by 13.7% over 2014 driven by health consciousness and environmental awareness. The sector has experienced supply chain improvements, better processing capabilities, and more variety with a greater range of retail outlets prepared to expand their range.

The industries expected to suffer in 2014 are CD’s & DVD’s, mining, horse racing, sugar-cane growing and newspaper publishing.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Car Parking Fees Raised

As noted in our article on 22nd December, parking fees in the QVM carpark have gone up. The fee rise has been attributed to a new State Government congestion tax.
The first two hours of parking will now cost $8 (up from $6), and $3 per hour thereafter (unchanged). The maximum daily rate is now $27 (up from $25). Parking on non market days and all day voucher parking on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday remain unchanged.

Have Your Say - click here.

04/01/2014 22:01:38 Car park price increase "Thanks Mr Lord Mayor for the car park increase  it goes along quite well with the Crap !!! Christmas Decotations you gave us!!!!!! The whole city was dressed up to the nines except the QVM which is supposed to be one of the main tourist attractions of Melbourne.Thanks once again no wonder no one wants to shop here anymore why come to the market when before you even get here most people have to pay for tolls ( unless your a local ) and then they make you pay more for the parking.Why come here when it's cheaper to go to your local shopping centre it's under cover (mostly) it's warm or cool depending on the day , you don't have to drag your kids around in the poring rain or the boiling heat and you don't have to pay for parking it's FREE!!!!!!! "

Sunday 12 January 2014

Melbourne Gift Fair Presents Opportunities for Traders

The Melbourne Gift Fair is on at Jeff’s Shed from 1st to 4th February. This is the showcase for Australia’s gift trade including bags and jewellery and may just be the inspiration to re-vitalise your stall.

Traders can benefit from these fairs in a number of ways –
1.     Current traders in giftware, bags and jewellery can see the latest offerings from industry wholesalers and there are always some new kids on the block to check out.
2.     Exciting new products may not be at a price level that traders can take advantage of but further research could provide cost effective avenues of supply.
3.     Traders looking to change their product range or even completely change their category can get inspiration from trade fairs.

Victoria Niewalda will be attending the fair on behalf of QVM and is happy to talk to traders about new product opportunities. Adding to or changing your product range will usually require management approval. If you have an idea for a new product range why not call Victoria on 0419 548 815 and meet her at the fair. This is a great opportunity to evaluate your options for 2014.

Pricing Tickets And Signage

Part of making our market look more professional in this very competitive retail environment is attending to the small things in merchandising. In football parlance it is the small improvements, the one-percenters, that add up to a better team effort.

Torn, old, grubby or generally unprofessional signage can detract from any stall’s appeal. Pricing is one of those functions that can be frustrating. You spend time making up a new sign only to sell out of the item and your sign ends up at the bottom of the storage box. So the tendency is to cut corners and improvise with an old sign.

Well, QVM are coming to the rescue. Price sign templates will shortly be put on the Trader’s Hub for simple downloading and printing by traders. If you have particular needs or have difficulty printing or laminating signs you are invited to call Victoria Niewalda for assistance on 0419 548 815.

And yes, our photo is from the archives. Nobody could use hand written signs like that anymore – could they?

Tracking Customer Flow At QVM

QVM is a wonderful combination of streets, laneways, halls, sheds, open areas, shops and eating malls. One of its main attractions is the jumbled jigsaw of old traditional buildings interlaced with new structures, but understanding how customers move around, and why, is very difficult to assess.

What are the most popular areas for our customers? Where do they enter the market? What routes do they use? What encourages them to linger? Do they come by car or public transport? What impact do special events have? Do customers really do the “S” walk in the top end sheds? Do food customers also shop in the Specialty sheds?

There are many questions to be asked and technology may have the answers. Three of our QVMAC traders recently attended a presentation about how mobile phone signals could be used to identify how customers move around our market. Imagine dots on a screen that represent customers as they shop. Watching those dots, and where they go at various times of day, from various entry points, and in response to various events, could help us respond to customers in a better way. The data doesn't identify the customers in any way but it does tell us about movement.

Imagine if we could track customers in String Bean Alley for instance and not only accurately count them but assess the impact of introducing things like food vans on a Sunday. Or we had a cooking event or fashion parade in Queen St. and were able to determine how many people attended and what they did after the event. There are plenty of options for better understanding our customers, whether we are meeting their needs, and how we can make the most of their spending power. We will keep you informed of any developments in this technology.

13/01/2014 10:11:32 Counters  "Great idea bring it on. May cut out all the BS"  John

Training Opportunities For Traders

QVM is investigating opportunities for training sessions for small groups of traders and is seeking input on what subjects would be of most value to traders. Training sessions would be short and timed to fit in with a traders busy schedule .

We have suggested that a session or series of sessions on how to get online would be high on the list. Establishing an online presence with a website is almost seen as an imperative for retailers in this day and age. We know that a number of traders have contemplated going on line and added it to their New Year Resolution list. A seminar that removes the technical jargon and clearly identifies the steps to achieving an online presence for you and your customers would seem to be a good idea.

Another idea was a training session on how to deal with international customers. We know there are courses that address the different customs and characteristics of different nationalities and how to handle communications with them. You only have to watch trader Danny Lewin greet his customers in different languages to know how valuable such insight can be. QVM is one of Melbourne’s key destinations for international tourists so it makes sense that traders should be informed on how to best relate to them.

There are plenty of other possibilities. How do you start importing goods from overseas? How do you set up a business plan for 2014 that enables you to track how your business is going?

What sort of training sessions do you think would be most valuable? Please click here to give your feedback.

Friday 10 January 2014

A Piece of QVM Memorabilia For Sale

 A Brighton map retailer has a hand coloured wood engraving of the Queen Victoria Market for sale. The engraving dates from 1879 and is purported to be original. It is priced at $160.
We understand that the engraving comes from an edition of an early Melbourne newspaper called the Illustrated Australian News and measures 33cm * 23cm. 
Details can be found at or telephone Brighton Antique Prints & Maps on 03 9596 9669.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Latest Retail News – 3/1/2014

Latest Retail News – 3/1/2014

1. UK department store group, Debenhams, issues profit warning following poor Christmas sales.
2. UK's John Lewis stores report 7.2% sales increase leading to Christmas with store sales up just 1.2% and online up massive 22%.
3. Colorado legalises retail sale of marijuana.
4. Construction and retail continue to show job growth in declining job market.
5. Myers online store offline for one week following disastrous website crash.

Aminalee Upgrades String Bean Alley Display

Jewellery trader, Aminalee, has upgraded her String Bean Alley outlet with a wonderfully textured display incorporating  a combination of antique fittings and modern display items that show off their jewellery very professionally. The pictures tell the story.


Preparing For A New Year Of Retailing

This is a time of year when we start to look for inspiration for the year ahead. What are the things we need to do? What innovations can we introduce? What is going to drive our sales to a higher level?
The following links are designed to give you a cross section of news, advice, and offers of assistance. Good for a browse as you plan your attack for 2014.

Thanks to Victoria Niewalda for the list.
Like to request other resources? - click on Have Your Say above and leave your suggestion.

Friday 3 January 2014

Tokyo Fish Market Makes Way For Developers

Tokyo's iconic fish market is to make way for multi story apartments in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games.

The 20 hectare site is considered ideal for development and the market is to be moved to an island location on Tokyo Bay that used to be the site of a refinery. The market is crowded and lacks some of the modern hygiene requirements but will be sorely missed by the thousands of restaurants around it as well as the residents of Tokyo who have come to rely on its services over the last 8 decades.

Prime real estate in Central Tokyo is worth billions of dollars but every market trader will feel a tinge of sadness that the worlds largest fish market is to be displaced.

Is QVM Meeting Customer’s Technological Needs?

One of the leading factors in business failures in the retail sector is failure to adapt to society’s technological needs. This is according to a recent article on Smart Company where they interviewed industry experts in administration of failed businesses. Do we meet our customer’s technological needs at QVM?

Business difficulties vary according to the industry but in retail it is primarily rising rents and competition from online shopping. Failed retailers often didn’t adjust to the technological needs of their customers. QVM has a new website. It is cutting edge and has the potential to meet customer’s needs, but does it?

We have commented on Victraders before that the QVM website should primarily be a sales point. Selling goods is the main function of the Queen Victoria Market. Customers go to the QVM website for many reasons but primarily they want to find out what they can buy, where they can buy it, and when they can buy it.

We took a little online test this week. We googled “Socks – Queen Victoria Market”. Socks are a big category at QVM. We have many stalls with ranges bigger than department stores and we pretty much cover every sock and stocking need for customers. The first result on Google was an article about an old photo of a QVM sock seller (see our photo above). The next two entries included a link direct to Cosy Possums website and the Melbourne Hemp entry on QVM’s website. These two traders happen to include socks in their range at the market but would not be considered sock shops. Congratulations to them for having websites that show up on Google but the Google search didn’t really give an inkling of the rich range of socks at QVM.

Then we googled “Socks – Westfield” and the first entry took us to a Westfield website with a
shopping window of socks from a variety of retailers complete with photos and prices. The difference was that Westfield knew what their customers were looking for and gave it to them.

If you go to the QVM website and enter “Socks” in the search box you get 3 results. The first is to a 2013 shopping guide for Father’s Day, the second is an article on Horse Radish that “knocks your socks off”, and the third is to the Melbourne Hemp entry but no listing of the multiple stalls at QVM that can sell you great socks.

We know that QVM is working hard to get the link up between product categories and individual traders. It is a difficult IT task acerbated by traders moving locations but once that is complete, a list of traders who sell socks and their locations will be available for online access. In the meantime, traders need to address their own website presence. If more sock traders had their own websites they would show up on a Google search along with Cosy Possum and Melbourne Hemp.

Try googling your category of product. There may be more excellent opportunities to meet the technological needs of your customers.

Have Your Say – click here.

Thursday 2 January 2014

The 15 Most Read Articles For 2013

These are the articles that got the highest number of direct readers on the Victraders website in 2013. Victraders can be read by anyone with web access although most of the readership comes from traders themselves with a few articles having a wider audience because of their content. Just click on the links to view the full articles.

This article about the possibility of making the General Merchandise area of the market smaller attracted plenty of comment from traders.

Identifying some of the areas that traders need to address attracted high readership. We can expect more debate into 2014.

A traders suggestion that we could introduce some national brands into the QVM drew a strong reaction from traders.

An historic announcement in trader/management relations with Board members attending QVM Advisory Committee meetings.

This article about the battle between online and bricks’n’mortar stores drew a comment from one of the retail industry’s gurus.

Traders expressing their views on what a CEO should do.

A letter from Trader Representative, Ivano Guseli, to the City of Melbourne was mentioned in a Council meeting and gained a high readership.

News and rumours are always popular around the market and this article reached our top 15 list.

A CEO resigning is big news any day.

This article championed the “modest and fragile” small business and questioned whether multiple stall operators should move on from QVM.

The sad passing of the past President of our traders association.

A big splash on Channel 7 News attracted a lot of attention.

The first time a Trader Representative had presented to the QVM Board.

Once again traders like to read about what other traders are saying. On this occasion it was extended trading hours and the night market.

The new String Bean Alley concept gets attention in this article.

And our most read article for 2013? – It was the article about Melbourne City Concillors discussing a trader submission at a full council meeting.
We suspect this article gained extra readership from outside the market.

Have Your Say - click here.