Sunday 4 June 2017

More On Trading Hours

Our article on the possibility of changing trading hours at QVM has attracted this response from trader, and ex QVMAC member, Stephen McLennan.

"The question of changing the Markets operating times has been talked about for a fair while now however the main reason for doing so is to be more in tune with customer needs.
So why the suggestion of a 4pm finish? To benefit who?
Which customer demographic are we aiming for?

If we are pitching to the Tourism Market then they may benefit from just 2hrs extra or a slightly later finish shopping time.
However, if we are trying to break our tourist market tag and increase our local customer base many of whom are still working until 5-pm, then 4-pm, will still fall short of the prime objective.Shops  in the C BD are open until 7-pm so a 5 or 6-pm finish may be more suitable for a wider customer base???

Changing hours will no doubt involve inconvenience for some traders and perhaps increased costs for traders and management, but reversing retail decline is going to require some sacrifices.

 "One in all in"

Major components in making this transformation work are:
1.           We need to make the change meaningful. There is little sense in playing around with minimal trading extensions or short term trials.
2.            All traders need to be supportive and embrace this change. We will need a firm commitment to new hours and a resolve to make it work. Results may not be immediately obvious.
3.            For Management to enforce the changes and ensure traders stay open and not close early as has happened so often on special market events in the past (one in all in ).
4.           A major information program would be needed to inform the public of the change in trading hours.

Friday trading used to be until 4-pm but with so many traders packing/leaving early Management decided some 3 years ago to reduce the hours to a 3-pm closing so we can't afford to get the trading hours wrong.

At the risk of suggesting yet another sub-committee, a range of options could be drawn up for traders opinion/feedback.

Any possible changes to our operating hours will take a little getting used to for traders and customers alike so any benefits may be hard to quantify short term.However for some traders what we are offering at present just isn’t  working.

The fresh food areas of the Market may have a different view as to what works best for them which is why I am suggesting a sub-committee /think tank on this important issue to form a better outcome for all."

Stephen McLennan.

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