Sunday, 28 February 2016

Dick Smith’s Stores Close and Other News

Dick Smith’s Closes
Receivers announced this week that all 363 Dick Smith’s stores would be closed within 8
weeks. No suitable offer had been received to indicate that the business could survive. Receiver, James Stewart said “The offers were either significantly below liquidation values or highly conditional or both.”
A genuine clear-out sale is expected to start immediately.

Woolworths Reports Staggering $2billion Loss
Yes, you read correctly – a $2.09 billion dollars loss for the first half following the write off of $3.25 billion from its ill-fated Master venture. Without that special  write off Woolworths still would have recorded a reduced profit over last year.

Harvey Norman Profit Jumps
Harvy Norman have reported a 30.7% profit increase on the back of stronger sales in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. A strong Christmas period and a buoyant housing market have assisted performance.

Google Delivers
You may not know that Google has its own delivery service in the US just like Amazon, and both entities have developed same day deliveries. Google has now added fresh grocery deliveries to its armoury with meat, eggs and other perishables being delivered in areas of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Did somebody say that “convenience” is the new retail buzz word?

Victorian Legislation to Ban Discounted Fuel Price Boards
The Victorian Government has announced that it will be introducing legislation to ban the current practise of adverting fuel prices with a special discount that is only available on presentation of a card or voucher. Service Stations will be forced to show the full price of the fuel with ancillary advertising identifying  their discount offer.

Sportswear Boom
RCG Corporation, the group behind Athletes Foot, Skechers, and Vans, has reported a doubling in profit for the half year to December. They credit the improvement to a boom in “athleisure” with major brands shifting to a “clean sneaker look”. Sounds like a good trend for our various sportswear traders.

Coal (Not Coles) Pulls Back Wesfarmers
The owners of iconic retailers, Coles, Target, K-Mart and Bunnings also owns coal mines and possibly regrets that right at the moment. Strong performances from most of its stable of retailers have been offset by an 87.8% drop in earnings from its industrial division including coal mines. Lower commodity prices are to blame.

Retailers Go On Strike

Pharmacists at National Pharmacies store across SA and Victoria went on strike recently over pay and conditions. They opted to open their stores one hour later than normal as part of their protest. Pay rates are key point of contention with Pharmacists insisting they maintain penalty rates for giving up their social and family lives on weekends.

Other News - 28/2/2016
1. Myer launches new eBay shop.
2. Online homewares retailer, Temple & Webster, slashes sales predictions.
3. Sportswear retailer, Surfstitch, reports double digit growth.
4. Bunnings acknowledge they are looking at Masters sites.
5. Target announce new brand ambassadors to join Jessica Mauboy in Sonia Kruger and Fiona Falkiner.
6. Flight Centre reports improved profits and looks to expand in China and Europe.
7. JB HiFi has announced the end of its music streaming service and intends concentrating on physical format music.
8. Mars recalls millions of chocolate bars and other products across Europe following discovery of a piece of plastic in a Snickers bar in Germany.
9. David Jones to sell its Market St store in Sydney to develop nearby Elizabeth St. flagship.
10. A bounce back by Rivers helps Specialty Fashion Group to 5.2% improvement in earnings.
11. Walmart reports decline in 4th quarter profit.



Shortlist For Munro Development


The City of Melbourne is reported to have requested final offers from 2 bidders for the proposed development on the Munro site at QVM.

Cbus Property and PDG Corporation have been asked to submit final offers by April for the mixed-use development set to include residential apartments with affordable housing, retail, community facilities and customer car parking.

Cbus is one of Australia's largest public offer Industry Superannuation funds. Established in 1984 for the construction, building and allied industries; it now has over 720,000 members. Cbus has over 89,000 participating employers and manages $27 billion of members' funds. Cbus invests back into the building and construction industry through its $2.8 billion property development company Cbus Property. The Chairman of Cbus is ex Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks.

PDG Corporation is a privately owned company established by Vince Giuliano as a boutique designer-builder company in the mid 1980’s. It has grown to specialise in high rise residential and commercial developments and has recently completed the construction of over 1,200 luxury apartments in inner-Melbourne with a further 300 currently under construction

An evaluation panel comprising representatives from the City of Melbourne and Queen Victoria Market Pty Ltd management will evaluate the best and final offers. This panel has access to advice from subject matter experts in probity, design, planning, finance, law, sustainability and governance, as well as several other fields.

The City of Melbourne expects to execute a Development Agreement with the successful bidder in mid-2016. 

Have Your Say - click here.


Latest QVMAC Meeting Report - Thursday 25th February


QVMAC Meetings are now conducted monthly and yesterday’s meeting at the Engagement Hub on Queen St. considered the usual large list of issues. Here are our notes from the discussions. Official minutes will be released in due course.
Attendees:
Victor Ailakis – Chair - (VA) QVM
Jane Fenton AM (JF) – QVM Board
Brendan Devine – (BD) - QVM
Mark Smith (MS) - QVM
Matt Ryan (MR) - QVM
Marina Levitsky (ML) - QVM
Spiros Foscolos (SF) - QVM

Apologies:
Paul Sheahan AM (PS) – QVM Board

Stephen McLennan (SM) QVMAC
Greg Smith (GS) – QVMAC
Jenny Pyke (JP) - QVMAC
Joseph Stolarek (JS) - QVMAC
Kha Nguyen (KN) - QVMAC
Ivano Guseli (IG) QVMAC
George Milonas (GM) QVMAC


Cathy Underhill (CU) – QVMAC


1.Welcome
1.2 Previous Minutes – An issue relating to the theft of fish produce over Christmas following a 2 day outage of security cameras has been addressed with a new system of reporting equipment failure for immediate action.

2. Management Updates
2.1 New CEO Update – a preferred candidate has been selected and subject to due diligence we can expect an announcement shortly.
2.2 Chinese New Year Update – a feedback form will be distributed to traders seeking reports on trading during this festival. Anecdotal reports suggested that there was little impact for the specialty merchandise area of the market although crowds were noticeable on the final Saturday of the festival particularly around A Shed.
The festival was reported to have a favourable impact on trade in the meat & fish halls.
Next year the festival is expected to be called a Lunar New Year Festival in consideration of non-Chinese participants.
2.3 Sri Lankan Festival Feedback – The marketing team have received favourable reports from traders on the conduct of this event.
2.4 QVM 2016/17 Tourism Strategy – a brief summary of the tourism strategy was presented to the meeting together with a calendar of events for the second half of the financial year – see below.



2.5 Trader Marketing Session Feedback – see separate article on implementation of trader feedback ideas.
2.6 Public Art Biennial – Biennials are large scale contemporary art exhibitions and QVM will be part of an upcoming Biennial for Melbourne with workshops being set up in the Munro Building around June and an exhibition on display around October 2016. Biennials have the capacity to draw thousands of visitors and it is hoped that this event will produce visitor numbers for QVM.
2.7 QVM Performance Measures – this matter has been held over subject to further input.
2.8 Trading Ideas Workshop – following the success of the last workshop which looked at marketing ideas, the next workshop is to be held on Tuesday 9th March and it will concentrate on 4 distinct areas
(1) Trader/Management Communication – the best way to give and get information across our market.
(2) Rule Enforcement  - a chance to have your say on this prickly subject.
(3) The Customer Experience at QVM – what do our customers want, and what do they get.
(4) Trader Development & Support Programs – what areas of learning would traders consider most valuable e.g. websites, social media, technology etc.
More details will be available in next week’s Trader Bulletin.
2.9 Plan for Project Updates to QVMAC – QVMAC meetings are now held monthly as we lead into the renewal phase. The first discussion on renewal implementation could start as early as March and management are formulating ways of speedy and efficient updates to roll out to QVMAC Trader representatives as we progress. More details will be presented at the March QVMAC meeting.

3. Trader Matters
3.1 Trader Association Update -  Jenny Pyke and Greg Smith gave a brief rundown on progress in the development of a traders association. The first stage has been the compilation of a set of Purposes & Values statements that would guide the association.  A draft document has been prepared and is expected to be finalised next week before being presented to traders for comment.
3.2 Meat & Fish Hall Leases Update – a number of leases are due for renewal but remain “in limbo” while renewal issues create uncertainty over the future of leases. All traders are still covered by a lease however there are business difficulties associated with unspecified lease terms. It is difficult to obtain business finance or to sell a business without lease term guarantees. Marina Levitsky has offered assistance to any trader facing difficulties and to explore what assurances can be offered to lenders or buyers in individual circumstances.
3.3 Extended Leave Letter – this matter relates to traders returning from extended leave and receiving a standard letter which may cast doubts on their tenancy at the market. The standard letter has been reviewed and a revised version will be emailed to Trader Representatives shortly.

4. Discussion Items
4.1 Trader Assessment Criteria – this criteria relates to assessment of traders seeking permanency, renewing a license or lease, seeking a new location, or applying to join our market. A proposal put by Trader Representatives for a comprehensive assessment form which included weighting factors has been adopted by management and incorporated in their assessment program. We can expect full documentation shortly including provision for Trader Representatives to be included in the process if requested by a trader.
4.2 Stall Spreading – this issue relates to the uncertainty of stall spreading procedures in the top end. It has been generally agreed by traders and management that firmer and clearer guidelines are required and some initial discussion has already taken place with the Operations Team. We expect to invite traders to discussion workshops towards the end of March to establish new arrangements.
4.3 Extreme Heat Policy - Trader representatives have submitted a proposal for traders, 65 years of age and over, to receive automatic approval for leave of absence on days of 36 degrees C or more. Discussion on the proposal took place and management are currently considering their response.

5. Other Business
5.1 Other Items – QVM have announced that they are putting the market’s cleaning contract out to tender. It is expected that the current contractor, Citywide, will formulate a bid.

5.2 Next Meeting – Thursday 31st March 2016.


Our Trader Representatives Are Revolting

Let’s follow up our classic double meaning heading with the statement that a number of our QVMAC Trader representatives are concerned at the increased workloads placed on their unpaid (note to editor – please put “unpaid” in bold) roles at QVM and want something done about it.

And let’s get one important thing out of the way first - no sympathy for the plight of Trader Representatives is expected from traders who have an absolute entitlement to professional representation, particularly given the turmoil ahead of our market. But, there is simply too much going on in management/trader and trader/trader communications for 8 dedicated representatives to handle professionally.

Three QVMAC Trader Representatives got together yesterday and discovered that each of them had spent most of their Friday attending to a multitude of trader matters. There was the follow-up to matters raised at the previous days QVMAC meeting. There was the sequence of emails concerning a trader’s complaint of conflict of interest within the QVMAC. In the end the trader received a satisfactory response but these are serious issues and handling them speedily and correctly is important and time-consuming. Then there was the trader who had been fined for leaving their storage box on an adjoining stall while a neighbour who did the same thing, didn’t get fined. Then there was the trader who had watched their competitor slowly introduce new lines onto their stall with no apparent control from management, and the trader who had been photographed by security for late packing up but had a good excuse.

One of our QVMAC Trader Representatives who keeps records on these things, recently dealt with over 40 trader issues in one week and brought each one to a conclusion. Some things are easily answered like rule interpretation, while others, like the recently concluded box storage arrangement for casuals, takes weeks of work.

But, enough of the complaints. What do we do about this? One proposition involves the employment of a paid person, permanently located within the market, preferably with an office, who could address trader issues, direct traders in the right course of action, liaise with management, co-ordinate Trader Representative activities and generally add some professionalism to this important task. There is a lot to consider here. There are many alternatives, and they all require resourcing. How we move forward is not yet clear but we do need to move forward before our Trader Representatives become more revolting.



The Dark Side Of Leadership Personalities

This may seem like a strange article to place on a trader’s website, but they say that variety is an essential ingredient in any successful blog, and this is certainly a business related issue, which incidentally was inspired by an article in the Harvard Business Review.

Leadership by its very nature often involves strong personality characteristics. Leaders usually stand out because of a number of factors including their impartiality, commitment, dedication, decision making ability, and often empathy. Some leadership characteristics are described as coming from the dark side because in their extremes they can be damaging. On the other hand small doses can be beneficial and we should say up front that some degree of the following characteristics probably exist in all of us and they are not necessarily inhibitors to a successful work or personal life.

Psychopathy is related to individuals who are generally more dishonest, ego driven, unemotional, and poorly considerate of others. They may make poorly considered business decisions as well.

Machiavellianism is described as "the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct". For these people the end justifies the means and how you get the result is less important than the result itself. Machiavellians may display superficial charm and be quite manipulative in interpersonal relationships but will often detach themselves from conventional morality. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavellianism

Narcissism is described as “an exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself”. Narcissists will have an inflated – though often unstable and insecure – sense of self worth which may make it harder for them to focus on others. The term comes from Greek mythology where a youth, Narcissus,  fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water.

Now before you get all depressed about the inhumanity of these traits it should be emphasised that understanding them can be very useful in analysing business (and personal) performance. Much has been written about how Steve Jobs became a much better manager when he learned how to control his narcissistic tendencies. Understanding how and why people react in given situations helps can only help to maximise our performance.

How far do these traits show up in my personality? Well, I am going to look in the mirror – oops, no, that is a dead giveaway. Maybe I’ll just wait on my colleagues to tap me on the shoulder and tell me.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Activating A Shed

Drawing crowds into A Shed is a major issue for our market. It is an issue for management, the traders under the sheds, and the shops on Victoria St. 

There will be short and long term answers to activating the area. This weekend the Lunar New Year Celebrations provided a good crowd on Saturday with a range of food offerings and entertainment from a dragon dance. Today (Sunday) there were pony rides for the children, a cricket clinic with the Melbourne Renegades, and we can expect more events and special activities as we chase that elusive magnet for sustainable crowds in all areas of our market.

Our thanks to traders and the pony ride operators (www.balloonaversal.com.au) for the photos.




Have Your Say - click here.

Getting Crowds To QVM - Banishing The February HooDoo

Improving our Queen Victoria market involves many factors but high on the list for traders is generating the sorts of crowds we experienced last weekend (13-14 February) as visitors flocked to our city for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

In a traditionally quiet month of trading they were a breath of fresh air and inevitably the question is asked – How do we get a repeat of that crowd? Memories of the Jehovahs Witness crowd back in October 2014 and the Tupperware delegates in March last year are still strong in the minds of traders. Sporting events held in Melbourne, particularly international events, can provide a market crowd boost although strangely the Melbourne Grand Prix doesn’t seem to do much for business.

Some traders expected a big response from the huge crowds attracted to the cage fighting event at Etihad Stadium last November but the impact on the market didn’t match the energy in the ring. Like many aspects of retailing and marketing it is difficult to predict results. It is easy to be wise in hindsight, but would traders have predicted the impact of the Military Tattoo crowd before they descended on our market? Probably not.

The point is that we need to learn from each successful crowd drawing event and be ready for the next one. It would be interesting to hear if our marketing team were involved in accommodating the Military Tattoo crowd and who organised those buses that lined up along Peel St. last Saturday.

And finally – 500,000 people were expected at last night’s White Night event in the CBD. What a shame QVM is not part of the organiser's planning. That is a big crowd in need of the services of a public market if for no other reason than to provide catering. A huge night market would seem to make a lot of sense and February could just become a key part of every trader’s yearly income.


Friday, 19 February 2016

Trip Advisor Review Tells Two Stories

If you haven't come across them before, Tripadvisor is an online tourist review site that regularly has traveller's comments about QVM. The review that follows is hardly glowing
 but it does say that everybody else raves about our market so we can take some comfort. Following on are some other reviews over recent days.

“It's a market”
3 of 5 starsReviewed today NEWvia mobile
This was an ok place to visit but I wasn't wowed by it. Big? Yes. Have everything under the sun? Pretty much. Nothing really special or different.
Everybody raves about it - maybe it's just me.
Visited February 2016




“Marvellous Market of Melbourne”
4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterdayNEW

Where do you begin to describe this Market. It is purely fantastic. You can get fresh fruit and vegetables , meats, fish, delicatessen foods and even live animals. These products are divided over two areas with one section completely enclosed and the other under cover but still open. So rug up warm if it's a cold day. The third section is full of stalls that sell just about anything you can think of...shoes, bags, bedding, toys, jewellery, clothing, knick knacks, souvenirs, hardware and that's just a few. It is a treasure trove of goodies. Great bargains can be had and you can nibble on the amazing food truck snacks as you shop. You really need a few hours if you want to browse and really experience all this market has to offer. It can get very busy and you can get lots of prams etc, so be prepared if you go on a weekend for a crowd. It is kid friendly but some kiddies can get a bit overwhelmed in the crowds. During summer they do a Wednesday night market which is predominately food and drinks. Great fun for foodies as the food is from all parts of the globe with music to match. Great atmosphere and a great way to spend a balmy summer evening. A must do place in Melbourne.
Visited January 2016

“An insight into Melbourne's multi-cultural population.”
5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterdayNEW

This a great undercover market which is easy to get to by tram from the center of the city.
Fresh market produce and a wonderful range of delicatessen type foods. Also gift stalls are available. All under one roof with every nationality to be seen and heard.
Visited December 2015


“shop and bargain”
5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterdayNEW

So many different cultures selling their wares Bargains to be made don't forget to bargain with them Great variety of goods and lots of souveniers here too
Visited February 2016

“So much to see! A great way to spend a morning (or afternoon)”
5 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday NEWvia mobile

We went there on a Sunday morning waiting for our flight out in the afternoon. There was so much to see we had to spend about 2-3 hours just to walk pass everything. The quality of the fresh produce and other goods looked a lot better than sydney's Paddy's market. Gourmet food and coffee was abundant. The toilet was also unexpectedly clean.
Visited February 2016

Editorial - Simplifying Trader/Management Relations

Sometimes it is a good thing to simplify complex relationships and re-focus. QVM certainly involves complex relationships and a power game is about to be played out that will impact on all parties.

So, let's simplify. Essentially, our market involves two parties - QVM, the owners - and Traders, the key stakeholders. (Yes, there are more stakeholders, but this is about simplifying). Logically both have a role here and it is the level of co-operation between the two that influences progress. Neither can operate without the other, and although their aims sometimes conflict (a classic landlord/tenant conflict) it is in everybody's interest to find a universal path for both to succeed.

The majority of Trader Representatives on the QVMAC believe they are working to that end. Sure, they are just an advisory group, and their Terms of Reference could be stronger, but significant gains have been made over recent years and their influence is substantial. There is a new trader group at the door and they want to form a strong trader's association. 

Actually this new trader group has some familiar faces and essentially they want more control for traders. In fact, as one commentator has said, "They want to take over the world!" There is nothing wrong with some high aims, as long as they are tempered with reality and managed professionally. This time around, a strong traders association has the blessing of management who are keen to see a representative association that can sign agreements and help work our way through a minefield of renewal projects. It is important that we don't slip into the old "them versus us" association mentality that has failed in previous attempts. The bottom line here is that all participants have their rights.

A strong, professional trader's association has support, but it needs to be based on strong principles and values that embrace the future of the market as a key component of our city and its community. An association that exists only to "protect  traders" (whatever that means), but neglects the frantic pace of change in consumer needs and wants, is doomed to fail.

Ironically the real battle here is not traders versus management, but traders AND management versus the retail revolution. Throw in a market renewal and we have a very stressful situation that will test any relationship. In these tough times traders will need support and the best support will come from everybody working together to create a vibrant focused market that meets the needs of today's customers. Inevitably that will mean a trading environment that generates reasonable trading profits. Traders will need some empathy and the opportunity to adjust, or maybe even exit if that is their choice. Working together to create a vibrant market with a "fair go" for traders will make us all winners.



What Is Happening With A Trader's Association?

In 2014 QVMAC Trader Representatives came up with an idea to combine their new trader's association (QVM Traders Inc.) with the existing management/trader structure called the Queen Victoria Market Advisory Committee. The idea was to have one set of representatives in a combined function. A subsequent attempt to radicalise the QVMTI meant that the association part was put on hold and the QVMAC continued in its original format. But the idea has been resurrected, this time with management support.

Basically the intent was to have one group of trader representatives elected by traders to form a committee of management of a traders association. That committee of management would become the trader representatives on the Queen Victoria Market Advisory Committee and liaise with management on a whole range of market matters. Creating an independent traders association would give traders more autonomy, including conducting their own elections. The attraction for management is that they would then have a legitimate trader organisation that could sign binding agreements. As we head into renewal with all its complexities, there are likely to be a number of agreements that require signing.

A new group of traders is leading the push for a resurrected traders association, and, as we said, management are supportive of the concept. It is not yet clear whether the new association will be a re-vamp of the current traders association, QVM Traders Inc (perhaps with a new name), or a whole new association. Representatives of the new group are holding discussions with current QVMAC Trader Representatives on what Purposes and Values might guide the association. All parties seem to recognise that setting proper ground rules for a professional traders association is important. We are setting the stage for decades to come. There is a long way to go and a few hurdles to jump but initial discussions appear positive and a Draft Purposes and Values statement is almost ready.

Victraders.com will keep you informed of progress. 

Have Your Say - click here.

COMMENTS:
19/02/2016 18:14:27 trader association "The idea in principal of an Association sounds fine but for memory this could be 3rd try so why is this one any different?
How many members would be needed to be recognised as truely representative of all traders by market management?
Will this be funded and if so how ?
If proposals are signed off by the Association on behalf of it's membership as you say what does that mean for non members who could in theory make up the majority of traders?
I'm sure other traders will have more question and this forum will help explain a lot ."
There is a lot to respond to in your comment and you are correct in saying that other traders will have questions. This attempt at establishing a traders association does need to be much better than previous attempts and hopefully that is the intent of all parties. There will be much more to write about and I will make sure your questions are answered. Thanks for your input - Ed.

20/02/2016 20:59:51 Trader Association "What is the main differences between what traders have now and what the Association is proposing for traders?" 
A great question. Can I put the answer on hold until all parties have a chance to comment. The simple answer is that a trader's association will have more autonomy than the current QVMAC, but also more responsibility, and it will probably need some form of financing. - Ed
 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

More On Our Market's Future


QVMAC Trader Representative, Stephen McLennan, has entered the debate on the future of our market with a strong defense of casual traders and some wise advice on adjusting for the future. The original comment that started this debate can be found here - - http://www.victraders.com/2016/02/traders-comment-on-market-future.html

15/02/2016 22:49:49 Markets Future "Not sure were to begin in response here but getting rid of the casual traders is not an option.If the Market is considered to be an incubator for small business what better place to start and become the future of the Market.Most of them have terrific stall presentation , nice banners & signage and products that are not repeated ad nauseam and they are young keen and hungry to make their business work with good customer service which is exactly what customers are craving for us to provide. 
Traders should all be striving to improve their businesses in all aspects including personal presentation . This is what todays customers are seeing  now and they obviously do not like it.
The renewal process will take some 10 years to complete so if traders do not help themselves along the way or are expecting a handout on completion the only difference will be that the stall holder is 10 years older. 
Reducing the size of the Market is a contentious issue but business will have to improve markedly to generate the same rent revenue amongst fewer traders for Management or council.
I would like to hear opinions from other traders on this topic."

Stephen McLennan ( Frustrated Trader Representative ).

Have Your Say - click here.  

COMMENTS:
17/02/2016 12:12:07 market future "Yes I agree that A & B sheds look like a desolate eyesore
that customers only use to go to the toilet or ATM and that is a huge problem area but even if
the Market was made smaller without casual traders to fill the gaps when traders go on there
8 weeks leave we would still have many empty stalls and that won't look good either. Do not blame the casuals blame the 60% of traders in denial who are happy with how the
Market is .There's a real problem"  
Thanks for your input - Ed.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Latest Retail News – 14/2/2016 - Amazon, Etsy, Origani, KFC....

Latest Retail News – 14/2/2016
1. Amazon preparing to launch its UK subsidiary, The Book Depository, in Australia.
2. Online craft marketplace, Etsy, opens first physical store in Macy’s.
3. International skincare retailer, Origani, to open first street store in Swanston St.
4. Chinese firms ordered to pay damages for false rumours about deformed chickens at KFC.
5. Luxury retailer Michael Kors beats market expectations and shares soar.
6. Dick Smith CFO departs as massive restructuring takes place.
7. Woolies hit with $3million penalty for stocking hazardous goods.
8. H&M opens 10th Australian store at Pacific Fair on Gold Coast.
9. Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms December retail sales 4% higher than previous year with Victoria leading the states.
10. Coca Cola launches new tea drink.
11. Myer links with emerging designer, Interval, to target 18-40 year old fashion conscious women.
12. Nick Scali records big profit jump in half year results.
13. Indonesia’s highest court says local company can keep trading as Ikea despite Swedish giants protest.
14. Jodhi Meares opens first pop-up athleisure store at Doncaster.
15. Sainsbury’s outperforms its supermarket rivals in UK.
16. Nestle brand, KitKat, has become the first global confectionery brand sourced from 100 percent certified sustainable cocoa.
17. Mars to remove artificial colours from its confectionary range.
18. Australian online tailor, Instichu, opens 3rd physical store in Brisbane.
19. Myer renames its returns policy – “The no regrets policy”.
20. Kelly Slater’s “Outer Known” brand to launch in Australian retailers.
21. Dubai to proceed with world’s largest mall despite global downturn.
22. UK’s Tesco buys coffee chain, Harris & Hoole.
23. Over 100 cases of salmonella reported in lettuce scare.
24. Nestle terminates sponsorship of world athletics governing body over drug scandal.
25. David Jones says performing above expectations despite profit fall.
26. Woolworths launches “Click & collect” at Sydney railway station.



Paris Gets Its First Raw Meat Vending Machine

Paris and good food are synonymous so when a butcher installs a raw meat vending machine it gains worldwide attention. What has happened to the irrevocable bond between butcher and customer, and will this move change the concept of good food forever?

The owner of the butchery in the fashionable 11th arrondissement puts it a little more plainly - “We wanted to give our customers an additional service when the shop is closed.” Of course Paris is not just about high end food and snobby restaurants. It is very much about people’s food and in that sense an always open vending machine makes sense.

This particular machine stocks pork chops, beef carpaccio, Bayonne ham from the Basque country, chicken and eggs. Food dispensing machines are not new to France with 100’s of baguette machines (carefully adjusted to the correct humidity of course) being found across the country. One popular butcher in central France said he couldn’t work 7 days a week but got sick of watching customers peering into his shop on a Sunday and so installed a vending machine for his highly sought after sausages.

So what about QVM? Will we see vending machines backing on to Deli Lane with an assortment of self serve meats and cheeses?

Have your Say – click here.

Heard Under The Sheds

1. The influx of visitors for the Military Tattoo at Etihad Stadium has caused at least one trader to review his opinion of older demographic customers. He admitted to having a fairly low opinion of the older customer group, at least for his product range, but this weekend has proved otherwise with very brisk sales across the weekend. He will not be so hasty to prejudge any customer's potential when they walk into his stall.

2.Security is an ongoing concern in open stalls particularly when we have large crowds. Apparently today (14/2/2016) one trader spotted some younger customers suspiciously walking down the aisle with unbagged stock and quickly rang security only to be told that they were too busy patrolling the outer perimeters of the market to venture into the sheds. It is not clear whether that is an official directive or just circumstances at the time. Security starts on each trader's stall but there is a reasonable expectation that thieves will not be allowed to move unimpeded around our market. 

3. A number of QVM souvenir traders took part in a special market out at Flemington Racecourse mid-week to provide shopping facilities for the huge crowd of international performers who were conducting their rehearsals for the Military Tattoo. T-shirts, sheepskin boots, and general souvenirs were on display and according to reports from traders this was a successful venture. Well done.

4. Apparently this week there was an instance of a casual trader being asked to pack up his stall early in the morning because a neighbour had complained of competition from similar products. In a retail world that embraces like-retailers being grouped together in order to maximise their sales impact is our practice at QVM outmoded?

Have Your Say - click here

COMMENT:
15/02/2016 22:00:17 Casual trader asked to packup  "The Market officers should have been more aware of the position the casual trader was being placed in in order to avoid any confrontation with other traders. I thought there is a rule about being 4 or 5 sales minimum spaces between like stalls . We no not have the luxury of 150% to 200% mark up like shops . Our margins are a lot leaner than that so to have like product stalls so close to each other could be devastating.I hope the casual trader was given another stall through no fault of their own."  
Thanks very much for your input, and the casual trader was able to set up elsewhere. - Ed.

What A Difference A Tattoo Can Make

What a difference a tattoo can make. We are of course talking about the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo currently performing at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne and bringing a smile to the faces of many top end traders at the Queen Victoria Market (a very royal connection).

The Tattoo is bringing thousands of visitors to Melbourne and for many of them, our market is on the agenda. Our photo shows four large tourist buses in the one shot on Peel St. on Saturday and many traders have reported brisk business.


Interestingly, the visitors are definitely of an older demographic and yet their spending seems to be quite broadly spread though out the top end of the market. Perhaps categories like youth street wear may not feel the love so much.

February can be a very quiet month (usually the quietest of the year) so a business spike like this is very welcome. As one trader said – “Who do we ring to book another event . We are not greedy, once a month would be fine?”