Sunday 21 May 2017

What Mustn’t Change At QVM And What Must Change

Victraders recently received an article written by Tom Goodwin who is  Executive Vice-President and Head of Innovation at Zenith USA, a marketing services component of the No.1 media network in the US. Mr Goodwin is paid to understand and explain change, and his analysis of retail change is very interesting. You can read the whole article here but what immediately struck me was an aspect that seemed particularly relevant to QVM .

Goodwin says that either you create an incredibly convenient retail offer or an incredibly “delightful” one. At QVM we have an incredibly delightful offer in our food halls. The look, the feel, the sounds, the smells, and the environment all add up to a delightful experience. It is this part of the market that people get most concerned about when we start talking change at QVM. They don’t want this to change and who can argue with them. In fact, management have made it clear that little will be changed in the food halls.

The Market Renewal Strategic Brief put out in February 2015 talked about a future state for the lower market involving “a place to experience the theatrics and charm of old fashioned market trading and food retailing within one of Melbourne’s most remarkable heritage environments.” The more recent Retail Plan for QVM constantly refers to the authentic look and feel of the market and the “minor refurbishments” to take place in the food halls.

What must change? Well, many think the top end of the market, the Specialty or General Merchandise area, requires the most attention and is most susceptible to the dramatic changes that technology and social changes have brought to retailing. The top end has its charming aspects but it is difficult to describe it as “incredibly delightful” nor is it particularly convenient (Goodwin’s other option). Lack of convenience is an issue for traders as well as customers with laborious packing & unpacking, and weather protection just a couple of items that traders would like to see addressed.

The task of addressing those issues, plus others (trading hours, duplication, way-finding, merchandising, marketing, and so on), will be the task of management and the TRC. Most traders would like to see that happen sooner rather than later.

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