Sunday 30 September 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 30/9/2018

Hawker Night Market picks up – a bigger crowd and improved sales for Specialty Traders have been reported from Wednesday night’s market. A number of tweaks were applied by management and first time traders seemed to get their lighting right on this occasion. Some also made adjustments to their product offer to better appeal to a younger clientele.

Digital Signage Suggestion. A trader has suggested that each stall location should have a digital sign above it. Traders would log in at their location and the appropriate sign for their business would come up on the screen. This would aid customer way-finding and also have potential for marketing and event promotion.

Rent Increase – The big topic of discussion this week was news of a 2% rent increase. There were many opinions but probably the most popular was “It isn’t a lot but given current business conditions, any increase is inappropriate.” Some others – “Weren’t we guaranteed no rent increase until 2021?” “It is only the cost of a coffee and cake per week.” “It goes against the concept of assisting traders through difficult times”. “Maybe if we cancelled the Traders Ball and the Traders Lounge, there wouldn’t have to be a rent increase.” “Isn’t there something about rent and taxes being inevitable?”

Table Adjustments for Hawker Night Market – The new Asian Night Market features a Hawker style table arrangement which on the first night essentially involved two extremely long tables that created a barrier between food and Specialty Traders and made socialising difficult for diners. Management tweaked the arrangement and on the second night we saw multiple lines of narrower tables and more gaps that improved customer flow and as a bonus created additional seating. Some traders would like to see more gaps.

Eagles Fans Disappoint – after the drama of a closely fought AFL Grand Final, traders were hoping for a spending spree on Sunday but that didn’t seem to eventuate. The crowd was good, and hopefully food vendors had a good day but as one trader said. “The Eagles fans have had their entertainment at the match and the post match celebrations. Many of them will have spent a lot of money on travel and accommodation and are just keen to get home.”

Betty and Terry had to put their normal van in for some significant repairs this week after the power steering packed up. Their smaller standby van was doing fine for a couple of days until the alarm system broke down at the market and they had to be towed home. Sometimes when it rains it pours.

Have Your Say - click here.

01/10/2018 08:42:28       Rent Increase           "It’s not the cost of the increase that hurts it’s the reneging of the agreement of no rental increases until 2021 that disappoint traders.  You have high lighted 2 says of saving money before traders have to help valence the markets books."
Thanks for your comment. It raises many, many questions. Commenting on emotive issues like this is a bit like walking on egg shells but let's make a few points. There may not be an agreement on rents at QVM , at least not in writing. According to the Australian Financial Review there are recent examples of negative spreads (the difference between old lease rents and new lease rents) in Australia although existing leases tend to have built in rises. QVM probably does need to make a profit. The strong support for our market may wane if the people of Melbourne have to subsidise it. This increase is minimal. You should never expect traders to look favourably on a rent increase. Thanks again for your input - Ed.

01/10/2018 13:28:46       Rent increases         "On behalf of the many S/L traders that still don’t have a licence or lease are we exemp from the current rent increase. That is probably no to both questions. No we are not exemp and No I still can’t build a bridge and  and get over it. "  
Thanks for your comment - Ed.

01/10/2018 13:32:21       Rent increase           "If we were to forgo the Traders Ball could we have no rental increase for a further 12 months. The sheds are not looking more empty for no good reason?"
Once again a comment that raises many, many questions. No, the cost of the Traders Ball comes nowhere near the increased revenue sought by QVM to meet its yearly operational expenses. And besides there are many traders who value the concept of trader recognition at a special function. The first Trader Ball was a great night.
Empty sheds? - there are many reasons for empty stalls. There are many complexities facing every global retailer. Traders and QVM have a lot to work on. There are no easy solutions here. Cancelling a Traders Ball is a nice one-liner but it is unlikely to help.
Thanks for your input. - Ed.

02/10/2018 14:39:10       Ball and rent increases      "Greg I hear what you say ie that the ball was a great success... freeefood free drink very nice however the economic conditions have changed in the last 2 years and the ball can be seen by many as being frivolous in this poor retail climate. Rather rent increases it might only be the cost of a coffee and a cake but is the poor retailer  to be denied this small pleasure? Your comments please."
No, no, no! You are missing the point. It wasn't the freebies. The central theme of that night was the contribution made by traders to QVM. In my time at QVM that was the first time I saw focused public recognition of the crucial role that traders, particularly long-term traders, make to our wonderful market. Call me old fashioned but I think that is definitely worth the modest expenditure. - Ed

03/10/2018 05:42:45       Ball     "Greg I am not missing the point re the ball my main comment was that due to our tough economic climate perhaps that money could be better spent elsewhere. I’m sure long term traders would understand."
I guess we have differing opinions and that is what websites like this are all about. Thanks for your input - Ed.