As the QVM Renewal Project ramps up it is apparent that trader anxiety also increases and a complex process has great potential for disruption. Maybe we need to remind ourselves of why we are heading down this track.
As desirable as it may be, this renewal is not about providing the City of Melbourne with another jewel in its crown, a community and shopping hub in the north of the CBD. It is not about providing traders with increased income, although in a time of retail recession that would be a most welcome outcome. It is not about making QVM a more profitable company although nobody begrudges a reasonable return for their investment.
This renewal is only about one thing - meeting the needs of our retail customers. And the "our" refers to traders, management and the city. When we succeed in achieving that customer fulfilment, all the other riches - the jewel in the crown, the trader profit, and QVM's return - will flow as a consequence.
Keeping our focus on the customer isn't as easy as it sounds. Customers have proved since the Global Financial Crisis that they can be a contrary lot. They are in the box seat and demand a whole range of services from their retailers. But if we can simplify for a moment, they are looking for excellence, excitement, and convenience. That is essentially what we are trying to achieve with renewal. Along the way we are going to have many options to consider and potentially 700 different versions on how those options should be applied.
This is going to be a difficult road requiring calm heads and a great deal of patience and perseverance. We need to keep the ball rolling and through the multitude of decisions that we need to make perhaps it will simplify things if we always ask – “Is that best for our customers?”
At the risk of adding another one-liner to a complex process let's go with this -
Keep Calm - Keep Focused (on customers) - Keep QVM Forever.