The demise of ABC Shops, Dick Smiths, and Australian Geographic are symptoms of an industry in the middle of a revolution. The success stories – Lorna Jane, Dominos, JB HiFi, Cotton-on, K-Mart and others show what can be done.
An analysis of the failures raises some common issues –
- Retailers that failed to reinvent themselves in a relevant way.
- Failure to read changes in market trends and react appropriately.
- Using old ways of thinking to tackle new problems.
- Reluctance to innovate.
- Losing the key attributes that created their success or allowing others to pinch those key attributes.
Examining each of those issues in relation to The Queen Victoria Market might make it easier to decide whether we need a renewal or not. And if we do need a renewal, what form should it take? If we don’t need a renewal, how do we stop the obvious decline at QVM?
All the retail examples above relate predominantly to shopping centres. We are not a shopping centre but fortunately many global markets have recently gone down the renewal track and they are certainly relevant to this discussion. The list is quite impressive –
Mercado De Ribiera – Lisbon – 2014.
Mercato Centrale – Florence – 2014.
Old Spitalfields Market – London – 2007.
Leicester Market – 2015 (current).
Kirkgate Market – Leeds – 2018 (current).
Mercado De San Miguel – Madrid – 2009.
Santa Caterina – Barcellona – 2005.
El Encants – Barcellona – 2014.
and of course our local markets – Dandenong, South Melbourne, and Prahran.
You will find a link to each of the overseas markets by clicking on their name. They make very interesting viewing and reading. We have excluded some of the more modern interpretations of markets from the main list but you may like to look at the following as a matter of interest.
Besiktas Fish Market - Istanbul - 2010.
Inca Public Market - Majorca - 2011.
Can we say those renewals achieved the aim of reversing, or at least stopping, market decline? That is difficult to assess although we do know that some of them are at least claiming that their renewals were successful. Some QVM traders would prefer to take no action although it appears that the majority of traders see the wisdom in making measured adjustments to increase our attraction to a wider group of consumers.
On the face of it, structural changes to QVM are going to be quite minimal. Around half the renewal expenditure is going on underground facilities for Fruit & Vegetable Traders. Few would argue against this component of our food offer needing the most attention.There is a temptation to say “We don’t need to go that far. We just need to tweak some parts of our offer and everything will be OK”. But isn't that the lack of foresight and lack of innovative thinking that we referred to at the beginning of this article?
Getting the balance right is the big challenge in front of us. Other important markets seem to have got it right, and we just need to make sure we do the same for our QVM.
Have Your Say - click here.
08/08/2016 14:25:17 Open eyes and minds. "Renewal and redevelopement are two words that are not interchangeable.
To renew is to revitalise and modify our offering. To redevelope is to change the existing into another form. We are all aware of the need to bring our surroundings up to standard due to the lack of diligence from the market management over many years. We are also aware that we need to keep pace with the ever changing retail needs of our customers. This is a business decision by the individual, massive infrastructure changes, ie, redevelopement, will not and can not alter the individual business offering. These two words are mutualy exclusive of each other. We need to make our market attractive to customers, this does not mean new buildings and parks but means giving the customers a reason to visit the ""Market Precint"" as a destination. We live and die from our individual bisiness decisions. Lets get it right from the start and listen to the individual. Accept the ""givens"" such as the Munro site and Franklin St but still offer input. Fight like hell for our home, OUR QVM, by the traders for the people." Karl ADK since 1950
Thanks for your input Karl - Ed.