The changes in retailing are quite bewildering and while we search passionately for the reasons (because they impact so directly on business levels) some trends are becoming clear. One of those trends is a growing cafe culture and it has implications for QVM.
Real estate commentators talk about "location, location, location" and in the past that has related to things like schools and public transport but as families and work/leisure activities change the location of cafés and restaurants become more critical in buyer's choices. "Walkability" has become the new buzzword in property circles. There is even a website called which measures the number if desirable locations within walking distance of your location.
Saturday and Sunday breakfast outings are becoming more and more common as lifestyles change and the typical family becomes smaller, more attracted to apartment living and "getting out" becomes less about a walk in the suburban garden and more about a trip to the local cafe.
What implications does all this have for QVM? Traders have often questioned the apparent proliferation of ready to go food outlets at the market. F shed has been transformed from a general merchandise aisle to a food aisle over recent years. Do we really need all these food outlets? Well, the answer probably lays in the success of the Night Markets built largely on creative food outlets and the associated entertainment. And the opportunities would appear to be enormous. Imagine our finest fresh food in the F&V, meat, fish, and deli areas being served up in cafés and restaurants all within the perimeters of the QVM site.
Melbourne is becoming a city of apartments, no more so than around our own Queen Victoria Market. With some 3,000 apartments being built per year the increasing supply of apartment dwellers looking for food is likely to be significant.
In a sense, increasing the food component at QVM adds to the competitive strain on many other trader categories. After all, it is just another form of discretionary spending. However, if we can generate bigger crowds at QVM by meeting the needs of more and more customers then logic suggests all participants at the market will benefit.
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