Sunday 2 December 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 2/12/2018

A trader asks why key Chapel St. retailers including Just Jeans are demanding a 70% rent reduction while QVM traders have just received an actual rent increase.

Boom, boom - A trader suggests that new attractions are most welcome at QVM but with retail struggling we were still skating on thin ice.

A trader asks which of the four food traders who have been appointed to the new Committee of Trustees could be considered suitable to represent Specialty Traders (General Merchandise). 

Vale John Leone – John passed away on 26th November and will be remembered for his very positive attitude to life despite crippling health issues. As one trader said, John’s commitment to his business, and his customers was testament to his love of the market.

Changing customer preferences – one trader tells us of 2 of his customers who spent over $1500 each for Jon Bon Jovi tickets but resisted purchasing $30 fan paraphernalia at his stall. He concluded that we certainly live in a time of change in consumer spending habits.

Conversation between a trader and a new mentor this week –
Trader “Well, I would love to fully embrace aspects of digital promotion at my stall but that is hard without electricity”.
New Mentor – “What do you mean – without electricity?”
Trader – “We don’t have electricity at our stalls.”
New Mentor – “You mean, in this day and age, you are not able to plug in a screen, computer, or cash register?”
Trader – “That is correct. We don’t have electricity at our stalls.”
We have para-phrased the conversation but you get the idea.

The power of communication – a trader commented how useful it was to get an SMS from QVM on Saturday morning explaining the dilemma created by tramworks on Peel St. and particularly the impact on customer parking. He found it invaluable when explaining to customers.

The word had got around – a bit of excitement at one trader’s stall on Saturday as colleagues enthusiastically joined in the conversation. Was it a big sale or the achievement of a sales target, or perhaps a new supply deal? NO, the second leg of the quaddie came in – damn these quiet trading days. (All done discretely in front of customers of course.)

There were rumours that the ice rink shut down prematurely on Saturday in our 31 degree (35) heat. The figure in brackets is the usual premium under our tin roofs. One trader suggested that a bit of insulation and some ceiling fans could have helped but that is another story.

Continuing on the ice rink theme –a number of traders commented that the rink seems to be a very useful addition to our market, even if just for a short time.

Summer Night Market – most traders seemed to do better on the second Wednesday night of the new season with one reporting three times his opening night’s sales. If that trend continues he is anticipating retirement by March 2019.

The importance of a positive attitude – this trader is well known for her positive attitude to trading and customers and she presents a compelling argument for remaining upbeat at all times. She says that, with a smile and conversation, the possible sales are more likely to become actual sales. Entertaining our customers is the secret to making QVM the preferred retail destination over run-of-the-mill retailers.

Great graphics – a couple of traders have commented on the quality of the graphics in recent QVM handouts, particularly the Christmas trading promotion.

The top issue this week in the upper market was undoubtedly the decision to leave  a General Merchandise Trader out of the high level Committee of Trustees. Traders expressed concern that General Merchandise produces 60-70% of the total number of market traders and yet they have been over-looked on the Committee (see separate article).

Have Your Say – click here.