Sunday 18 February 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 18/2/2018

Can I Sell My Stall? – was the plea from a trader during the week and the answer was a clear yes, with a lot more to go through, but the first step would be to talk with your Precinct Manager.

Box Storage – we now have an extension for traders using M Shed. They will have until String Bean Alley is activated (late May, early June) to find alternative storage for their boxes.

Box Storage 2 – one trader was keen to examine alternative box designs so he could store boxes on his stall, but without some surety, box hire operators are apparently reluctant to commit to investment in new designs. Much more to be worked through on this subject.

ATO Visit – Australian Tax Office representatives will be attending the market in the coming week to talk to traders about book keeping practices. It might be helpful to have your ABN available when they call.

New Market Pavilion Planning Objections – an anonymous notice was circulated in the upper market on Saturday encouraging traders to lodge objections to the amended planning application for the New Market Pavilion. Traders are asking why this person or group is not identifying themselves and why the fuss over a pavilion which has already been approved and is now simply being amended to fit current needs.

New Lord Mayor – there seems to be some support for Sam Newman as Lord Mayor of Melbourne from football mad traders.

String Bean Alley – there is much discussion around the proposal to fully activate String Bean Alley and what opportunities might be available for traders. Will a fully activated SBA be able to act independently and perhaps trial different trading hours? Will its product mix reflect the wider market and include things like souvenirs? Given the quirky nature of retail trading will successful traders have a fallback to their internal stall if for some reason their business is not successful in that environment? Do we really need to wait for stall relocations before activating SBA?

Tightening Up On Market Rules – Apparently customers and traders have been complaining. Expect a bit of a focus on late starters and early packers as QVM tries to present a cohesive offer to all our customers and give every trader the opportunity of uninterrupted trading during advertised hours. 

Have Your Say – click here.

18/02/2018 18:16:37 Market Rules "What right does management have in telling stallholders
that they need to be in and out of the market at a certain time?
They have created the problem turning the market into a ghetto with empty stalls or should l say empty sheds and now they are complaining.....please spare me the crap.
Would it be possible for our new CEO to show some leadership and make some hard decisions regarding the running of the market and not the renewal for once.
We all know that the empty stalls /sheds is what management have wanted all along (it helps their renewal push),so lets not complain about traders leaving early."

Well that is quite a spray and it deserves a comprehensive response.
1.Management have an obligation to police in and out times. It is in obligation that traders insist on to ensure that every trader does the right thing by his neighbours. Traders who are willing to trade to advertised trading times should not be restricted by a neighbour who starts packing early. We all know that one early packer kills business.
2. Management have not created the problem of empty stalls. A retail revolution impacting every retailer across the globe and driven by a massive change in consumer sentiment and actions has created empty stalls.
3. Our CEO is new and you might say this is one of those hard decisions.
4. Management rely on rent for income and their existence. It is the singular pursuit of rent under past administrations that has created problems like duplication, but that is another story. Empty stalls help no one and certainly not management.
5. Every trader feels your pain. The level of business at the moment is appalling. It is all the one percenters like trading to advertised times that will help us survive these tough conditions and show our customers that we are here for the long haul.
Thanks for your input - Ed.

18/02/2018 21:54:47 New Pavilion "Not sure about your 3rd paragraph.
After 5 years in the planning or replacing we still do not know the stall size ,rental costs  who qualifies for these areas or the EOI details of the pavilion or String Bean Alley.

What we really crave are details and straight answers not running blindly in circles."
It is true that we do not have a lot of detail although I guess that will be difficult before the plans are approved. We do know that 30 traders will be accommodated in the NMP.... and from memory it will be 8 F&V and 22 Specialty Merchandise. We know that the theme will be fresh & seasonal, and Australian made. As for who qualifies for NMP and who qualifies for SBA, I guess that will be decided when applications are submitted and we see who puts their hand up. That sounds reasonable to me and hardly qualifies as running blindly in circles. I agree it would be helpful to have more guidance on SBA. Perhaps management can help us there.
Thanks for your contribution - Ed.

18/02/2018 22:12:41 Pavilion "5.5 Million for some 20 traders seems like a lot of money. In your article are you suggesting the Pavilion is for only displaced traders or is it open for all traders .I'm confused?" 
$5.5m (actually it is now $7m+) does seem a lot but I suspect all these costs  seem horrendous to us market traders - maybe not to a city planner. Let's not forget it is making a design statement as well as accommodating displaced traders. And apologies for not making it clear about who goes into the NMP. It will be current traders (no newbies) who meet the fresh & seasonal and Australian made criteria. So it might be current traders in J - M Sheds who will in turn make space for those actually displaced. Thanks for your contribution. - Ed
(PS to Renewal Team - please feel free to join in discussion.)

19/02/2018 12:57:37 Box Storage 2 "Greg, Your information is incorrect again. QVM Logistic Solutions had meetings with Ex CEO Malcolm McCullough and Management early last year. At that meeting we discussed the large interest we received in supplying alternative pods to stallholders. Again at that meeting we presented architectured drawings to Malcolm and these drawings with our presentation was received extremely well. At the conclusion of our meeting we were then given the OK to manufacture these pods with Malcolm agreeing that QVM would pick up all expenses. 
Four prototypes were completed months ago.
Maybe you can ask QVM why stallholders cannot use these pod/containers as they have been sitting outside our warehouse for months. 

Also you may mention to QVM that we are still waiting for them to pay our invoice." QVM Logistic Solutions 
I think that is pretty much what I was saying. You don't have the surety to proceed with new designs. - Ed.

19/02/2018 15:28:55 Pack up and down times "Greg l am a long term trader so I feel that l have seen good and bad times good and  indifferent admin. When you start to police people because times are bad with rules it makes misery even worse. Rules are meant for interpretation we are not school children. What we are witnessing is a global change many small businesses are being swallowed up by their larger competitors because they cannot compete. Policing is not the answer. The stall owner these days needs a product that is savvy on trend and unique. Your comments please."
You cover a few different things. There is no excuse for bad behaviour, and packing early is bad behaviour. It is bad for customers who turn up expecting to make a purchase and it is bad for the traders who are trying to do the right thing and show professional retail intent right up until closing time. 
Packing early is just reflecting (understandable) frustration and it is the sort of thing I growl at my Grandchildren for. We are not school children although this sort of behaviour is childish. It is just “spitting the dummy.”
You are correct about the global change and the difficulties created by larger competitors. Those factors need a strategy, but packing early is not a strategy. There are lots of things we need to do and many of those things have already been identified.
Finally, rules are NOT meant for interpretation. Rules are rules and the majority of traders want us to stick to the rules. We are all independent traders but there are times when we need to show cohesion if we are to get the best result for every single trader. Sticking to advertised opening and closing times is just one example. – Aren’t you sorry you asked for comment? – Ed.
                                                                                                            20/02/2018 19:25:29      Greg’s comments    "Of course I am not sorry for your comments that is what verbal exchange is all about do I agree with all your comments no that is my opinion as that is your opinion however if we do not have this exchange we’re would we be?on another matter I think that the pavilion cost for 20 traders is  rather high  7.7 million and rising could it not be simpler and just as functional? Your comments please "   
$7m+ does seem a lot but, to be honest, I'm happy to leave that to our city designers. They get it right most of the time. I guess we won't know how special it will be until it is built. BTW, I am pretty sure it is 30 traders. - Ed.

21/02/2018 10:39:16      smaller stalls            "Yesterday I was told by a couple of traders that theatrical you wrote some weeks back about a trader reducing the size of their stall to see if it might effect their business was intact you writing in the third person .
Misleading or mischievous .
I'm wondering if i've been reading other article about traders that are you as well??

Lift your game I thought you were better than that."

You are correct. I do happen to be the trader who is experimenting with stall sizes at present (it wasn't a theatrical piece by the way - visit my stall and have a look). I don't normally identify traders in articles and didn't on this occasion. Over the 6 years of writing articles I have used my own experiences only 3 or 4 times but I take your point and I am sorry if that disappoints you. I can assure there was nothing mischievous and no intent to mislead. Hopefully some useful information will come out of this experiment although the jury is still out. Thanks for your input - Ed