Sunday 21 April 2019

Heard Under The Sheds - 21/4/2019

SBA intrigue - Apparently some traders who have applied for a container in SBA have been called in for first interviews in the coming week. There will no doubt be intense interest in this process.

Easter can be a strong trading period and there was a real disparity in reports on Easter Saturday from the Upper Market with some very good sales results and some very poor ones. As one trader said “There are no rules during an election, particularly a federal one. Elections just play with people’s minds too much.” Sunday seemed to produce better results for most traders.

Speaking of campaigns, perhaps some politicians could learn from traders when it comes to publicity. A few traders being asked to move their stalls has gained prime reading space in the Herald Sun over the weekend.

Wednesday nights second Europa Market saw long queues again at the food stalls and inevitable comparison between that night’s Russian theme and the Italian theme of the first night. The atmosphere created by the Italian night may just have the edge according to some traders with the travelling Piano Accordionist creating a nice touch.

A trader asks if others have noticed the sudden proliferation of cool stores in A and B sheds. Each trader seems to have their own facility.

A trader said that Easter had brought him an unprecedented cross section of customers - tourists from all over the world, but particularly USA and Hong Kong, lots of locals including some who hadn't been to the market for years, and lots of students with their families. The combination of Easter, school holidays, ANZAC Day, and perhaps some travel deals has created a huge variety of customers in our market.

A number of our traders use social media very effectively but one has just started adding photographs of his customers to his business Facebook page. If a customer asks to take a photo in his stall he says "Yes", but then asks if he can photograph them for his Facebook page. So far the response has been 100% positive and most recently resulted in Facebook communication with the customer. Trader, JLP Melbourne, has logged many customer photos on Facebook and their experience is that customers love the exchange.

QVM Management proposed a 4:00pm finish on Thursday before the Good Friday Holiday and that made a lot of sense to traders who were keen to wring every dollar out of a holiday/tourist time. The intent was very positive but when some traders decided to bring their boxes into the aisles at the normal 2:00 pm closing time it just killed the mood. One trader sighed "One day we might just get this right."

Have Your Say - click here.

Trading Hours - A trader has pointed out that last minute changes to trading arrangements can be difficult to accommodate, and he is correct. The item headed "QVM Management proposed a 4:00pm finish on Thursday" was not just aimed at those traders who brought boxes in to the market at 2:00 pm but also at our ongoing inability to address trading hour issues at QVM. 
Fortunately, management is considering that very issue right now and if the notes from the last Committee of Trustees meeting are a guide (see article here) we can expect a phasing in of more appropriate hours that will address changing consumer trends in a more structured way. It is a difficult one because no one solution is going to please all traders. But there appears to be universal agreement that we can do better with our hours and our communication to customers. Watch this space. - Ed.