Sunday 26 May 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 26/5/2019

A Trader hopes that the appointment of a new Operations Manager (Cleaning) will see a push on improved toilet facilities.

What 3 things do traders in the Upper market want? – according to one trader it is more relevant trading hours, more advertising, and fewer stall gaps (i.e. curation).

Is Joe Favata a doppelganger of Ed Kavalee? Comedian Ed Kavalee will be well known to watchers of the TV show “Have You Been Paying Attention”. Joe is a market trader well known for his commentary on market issues. Ed is a little taller but we think Joe is funnier.

A Trader asks why traders in L Shed are not invited to place display opposite their stalls while container installation is going on. The empty south side of L Shed is a bit of an eyesore.

One of our new traders is seeking some racking as he takes the next step in formalising his business at QVM. If you have some spare racking for sale, please email us at and we will pass on the details.

One of our traders had a first when the young lady ahead of him in the cash register queue at his local service station paid for his $15 worth of petrol. We have two questions – What fragrance does he wear and who buys just $15 worth of petrol these days? All jokes aside, it is nice to hear of a real example of paying it forward. This trader was impressed.

A trader asks who, or what, is going to kickstart buying after the election “because the current trend is going to send many of us broke.”

Wednesday night’s compulsory induction meeting for all Winter Night Market Traders included the warning that some traders were being swapped from their normal positions to keep the Night Market fresh and dynamic.

Also from the Night Market induction meeting – some new stall positioning has been necessitated by the installation of containers in SBA. It will be interesting to see how that changes customer flow and how it impacts on business.

A Trader noted that some of the “Welcome” light boxes in K/L Sheds were not lit this week. Maintenance has been alerted.

We have heard that an injunction brought by a Trader over a stall move was thrown out by the VCAT judge this week with no case to answer.

A customer from China was surprised to see ATMs around our market. He claims they are now very rare in China with almost all transactions conducted by card. Presumably he was from Hong Kong.

A trader noted a fancy new “Market Stalls” section in the Visitor Centre in SBA which highlighted some of the special produce available from our food halls. He thought it looked very professional.

NOTE: A Trader has complained that our Have Your Say facility is not as easy to use as it used to be.  Google have changed their processes and made commenting a little more complicated but we have now included an option to email us directly if that is preferred. - Ed

28/5/2019 12:24 - "I did not complain I just made the comment that it was simpler to use previously."
Noted - and it would seem the email option works fine. Thanks for your contribution. - Ed.

Latest Retail News – 26/5/2019

Latest Retail News – 26/5/2019
1. Coalition victory and tax cuts should stimulate spending.
2. Focus On Furniture’s 38 stores into liquidation, blaming rents.
3. The Iconic posts 38% increase in revenue.
4. Reject Shop CEO leaves as anticipated profit downgraded to loss.
5. ACCC tackles Kogan on discounts.
6. 2nds World falls into administration.
7. New 2500sqm dining precinct opens cnr Elizabeth/Latrobe St.
8. Popular fashion retailer, Urban Outfitters, to introduce rental business.
9. Avon cosmetics may sell out to Body Shop parent.
10. Target US reports first quarter sales up 4.8%.

Has Target Found The Answer?

Target US has posted a first quarter sales rise of 4.8% with a significant contribution from a 42% rise in digital sales.

That beats the other positive perfomer in the US, Walmart, and certainly puts many other key retailers to shame. According to Fortune Magazine, store remodelling, ecommerce and order pick-up, and own brand merchandise are important aspects of their success.

You can find more detail from the article here -

QVM In The News - 26/5/2019

The private operator of the Fremantle Markets has pocketed nearly $11 ... Central Market and five times that of Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne.
Queen Victoria Market ( is a contemporary of its namesake, having opened in the autumn glow of March 20 1878 - and remains a ...
Depending on your style, there's usually both trash and treasure to be found at Queen Vic Market. But Melbourne City Council has found some very ...
State Library of Victoria;. Queen Victoria Market; and. Southern Cross Station. The temporary bollards have been criticised as aesthetic blots by ...
Queen Victoria Market (QVM) is telling shoppers to bring their own bags after moving to ban plastic bags and straws. As of May 14, traders were ...
... early Melbourne found in excavation of site near Queen Victoria Market ... been unearthed during an archaeological dig near Queen Victoria Market.

Sunday 19 May 2019

Heard Under The Sheds - 18/5/2019

One trader is excited by prospects for post election business. He theorises that before the election, most of the population is depressed by political campaign bashing, and after the result around 50% of the population are really happy. Does that mean they will spend? We will probably have the answer by close of business on Sunday.

And the trader who really wanted to avoid discussing politics had this response for inquisitive customers who asked what he thought of the election- “When you are considering chickens or turkeys, it is comforting to know that either way you get a roast.”  Very profound.

A trader suggested that the experts who attempted to predict the election result probably went to the same school as traders who attempt to predict business levels each day - they are both very sure before the event and then equally sure of where they got it wrong after the event.

And some traders just refuse to get involved. A trader was asked what he thought of the surprise result on Saturday night. His response “Don’t tell me the Swans beat the Kangaroos in Hobart again?”

Some SBA Container discussions 
-     “I can’t wait for them to start trading.”
-     “Traders In L Shed facing the work zone should get a rent discount.”
-     “Very exciting innovation. How will customers react?”
-     “Let’s hope they get the stalls behind the containers occupied quickly. They have the potential to become a storage box dump.”

A trader is delighted by the continuing sunny days at this time of year but refuses to accept any association with climate change. He reckons it is just lots of Queensland tourists bringing their weather down to Melbourne.

A customer asked how much it would cost to have his purchase put in a quality paper bag rather than the standard plastic bag he had seen at some stalls.

L Shed plans explained - We understand that the stalls in L Shed, behind the new containers, will be occupied again in a few weeks once installation is complete. Traders who have been moved temporarily while works go on will have the option of returning to their old stall although some may choose to stay in their new locations. It is also envisaged that L Shed would be a perfect place to start new traders, particularly if they don’t require stall depth.

Are QVM Containers Just Natural Evolution Of Open Stands?

Are String Bean Alley containers a whole new way of shopping or just an evolution of open stands that meets modern demands? It is an interesting question and one that we probably haven’t examined closely enough particularly in relation to the cost of trading.

The interest in containers from traders is huge. Twelve new containers in SBA attracted 70 applicants. Some traders are suggesting that containers should become the dominant option in our market. A lot of that is probably being driven by the convenience factor. A roller door means lots of labour saving. Some traders in open stands spend 2 hours at the beginning of the day setting up and another 2 hours packing.

There are other factors at work too. Customers are demanding more accessibility to traders. Trading more often and trading longer are two of those demands.

Night time trading is becoming a key element for the market and some of you will be aware of the effort it takes packing up a stall at the Wednesday Night Market, getting home at around midnight, and then turning up for trade early the next morning, all while keeping a smile on your face. A roller door certainly makes that easier.

And of course all this needs to be done on a shoe string, because low operating costs are the ace card of small businesses like ours. Traders have been maximising efficiency and minimising costs since 1878. That is how we remain competitive.

String Bean Alley is an interesting experiment. In many ways containers are an improvement on existing open stand set-ups but we shouldn’t get carried away. So far the day trading in SBA has been disappointing. Completing the aisle and giving it identity will hopefully correct that. But the jury is still out on the economics and it will probably take 6 months, or at least until 5 day trading is introduced in SBA to get the full picture.

Containers in SBA have great potential, but like all business ventures we should watch the efficiency/cost equation very closely as we move forward.

By Greg Smith

Retailers Worst Nightmare And More

Major US Mall Replaces Car Park With Park

In an interesting parallel with QVM, one of the major US Shopping malls has made a decision to swap its car park for a park because it is better for business.

Westfield Garden State Plaza is New Jersey’s largest mall and it is one of the most successful in the US. It has decided that the future lies in presenting convenient options for the large number of people looking to live, work and play in their neighbourhood.

The link to the full article is below -

Retailers Worst Nightmare

Imagine if the number of retailers in your area suddenly increased and your proportion of business was diluted. A new app in the US has received nearly $8million funding this year to allow anybody (yes anybody) to set up an online store.

“Storr allows anybody to open an online store in a matter of minutes through the mobile app on Android and iOS. It’s just a matter of choosing a name and selecting items from the various brands that have chosen to integrate their inventory with the platform.

Brands themselves set the rates for commission, which must fall between 15% and 30%. Perhaps more importantly, the seller doesn’t have to do anything else — the brands take care of managing inventory, shipping, and dealing with returns.”

Latest Retail News – 18/5/2019

Latest Retail News – 18/5/2019
1. Coles reformats 200 stores around ready-made meals.
2. Body Shop steps up plastic recycling.
3. Ebay to mail out 2 million printed catalogues.
4. Men are spending more on skin care and beauty products.
5. Coles introduces bulk size offerings on 25 key products.
6. exits Australian market.
7. Uber offers its customers “no talking” car rides.
8. Amazon quadruples the number of Aussie fashion brands on its site.
9. Plant based burgers increase in popularity in US.
10. Nielson Research says sustainability high on agenda for Australian shoppers.
11. Zara says local profit up 35% after online launch.
12. Italian fashion house, Fendi, arrives in Brisbane.

Articles Worth Reading:
Australian shoppers want more car parking -

Melbourne’s transport strategy means less cars -

Jeff Bezos offers employees $10,000 to leave -

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Containers Arrive In String Bean Alley

Four containers were added to String Bean Alley yesterday (Monday) with three positioned above the centre walkway and one below.
We understand that more may be introduced before the week is out and successful applicants will now be waiting to find out which container they will be allocated so that fit-outs can commence.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Heard Under The Sheds - 12/5/2019

Storage boxes may have more uses than we realised with this stray in the Centre Walkway performing as a Tourist Meeting Module. Thanks to Danielle for the photo.

Intrigue continues with the allocation of containers in String Bean Alley with three current market traders confirming they have been offered containers. We understand a number of outsiders are also on the list and a few new hopefuls in our market missed out. Installation of the first containers will commence tomorrow (Monday) and all containers should be in position by the first Winter Night Market on June 5th. Seventy applications were received from a wide variety of retailers/manufacturers for 12 new containers.

Rumour has it that an Irish accent may soon be heard at TRC meetings with the appointment of a new representative.

Apparently one of our traders had dinner with some AFL luminaries during the week including Damien Hardwick and a John Worsfold. Not sure if he is in the footy tipping competition but watch out for some inside information to surface.

Increased advertising is high on the list of trader requests and one points out that if every trader posted on Instagram or Facebook every trading day then maybe we could have a big impact. Most of us just need to know how to do that.

A group of traders agreed that the hardest job in the market right now might just belong to Precinct Manager, Russell Wheelhouse, as he attempts to relocate traders displaced from Queen St. and String Bean Alley. The stakes are high when moving traders because livelihoods are involved. Each move has an impact, and many require a whole sequence of other moves to come together. The traders agreed that they were happy for Russell to have that job rather than them.

Does our photo show the first Drive-through service in the Upper Market?

Missing tourists - a trader says he can't remember the last time the West Coast Eagles were in town (playing against St.Kilda on Saturday night) but their fans were absent from the market. Is this just the downturn biting, the election blues impacting, or some other reason?

A Day Trader who also trades in the Night Market was asked if he was looking forward to having three nights off with the Europa Market finishing this week and the Winter Night Market commencing on 5th June. This trader said he would much prefer to trade. The Night Market is just too important to his income stream right now. 

13/5/19 - 1045 - "I notice Q2 precinct manager still has to look after NMP. Is this back on the radar?" -OOOps.
(Q2 Including Victoria St., A-F Sheds and NMP– Peter Shepheard 0429 372 779)

No OOOps - just a slack editor failing to tidy up loose ends. Thanks for pointing that out. Now corrected - Ed.

Night Market Lighting Turned On For The Day Market

The colourful multi-lingual light boxes in our photo were installed in sheds K/L for the Europa Night Market but clearly have application for our tourist dominated Upper Market during the day.

Adding a bit of contemporary colour to our sheds has gained a positive response from traders who like the “Welcome” theme. Tourists seem to like them as well with a number noticed photographing the signs.

Recently the proposition was put to CEO, Stan Liacos, that the signs should be turned on for the Day Market as well as the Night Market, and he embraced the idea. The light boxes may be changed as market promotions change but we can expect them to be lit during the day in this format at least for the winter season.

Their ‘Welcome” theme is particularly relevant for the large number of international customers who inhabit the Upper Market during the day. And interestingly they may encourage a bit of reverse customer psychology with locals. With recent articles in the South China Post, and New York Times promoting our market to the world, perhaps the locals could view our internationalism as yet another good reason to visit QVM.

Latest Retail News - 12/5/2019

Latest Retail News – 12/5/2019
1. Pallet movement data suggests slowdown continuing.
2. Autobarn pips Supercheap and Repco in customer satisfaction survey.
3. Amazon can already ship to 72% of the US population in one day.
4. Shaver Shop records strong second half.
5. March sales growth driven by price rises rather than volume.
6. Australia’s Forever New to expand in US.
7. Build-A-Bear Workshop saved from collapse.
8. Ebay continues to dominate online shopping in Australia.
9. JD.Com closes Australian office.

Latest Articles:

Australian Retail Expert discusses the hits of a recent Europe study tour.

Embracing Change – How to control the emotional response to change -

QVM In The News - 12/5/2019

“I actually went to Melbourne and had a look at the butchers in the Vic Markets (Queen Victoria Markets) and noticed a butcher had whole goats in the ...
Head straight to the Queen Victoria Market for brunch so you can fuel up for an afternoon perusing the open-air stalls of fresh fruit and veg, bric-a-brac, ...
From June 5 to August 28 the Winter Night Market will return to Queen Victoria Market every Wednesday night from 5pm to 10pm, while the markets ...

Thursday 9 May 2019

Trader Features In New York Times Article

Some of our traders get a fair bit of press exposure often involving kissing large fish or something similar but when it comes to the credentials of the publisher, it is hard to beat The NewYork Times.
Green Leaf Produce in H&I Sheds featured in an article about Melbourne. It is great to see our market get this sort of exposure.
Here is the link -

Sunday 5 May 2019

Heard Under The Sheds - 5/5/2019

A quiet trading day got this trader thinking outside the square, well actually inside the square, when he realised a significant part of his stall was taken up with pillars supporting the roof of the shed. He trades on the South side of L Shed where double pillars are the norm and he has calculated that nearly 0.2 square metres of his stall area is unusable because of the pillars. He believes that as a 40 year trader he is now entitled to around 3.2 months rent credit for space he has paid for, but can’t use. And no, he is not serious, but on a quiet day the mind does look for a thought diversion.

An ex-trader suggests that maybe we got rid of our car-boot sale market too quickly (a car-boot market for second hand goods was introduced a couple of years back on Sundays but put to the sword by then new CEO Malcolm McCullough). With luxury department stores like Neiman Marcus recently introducing recycled goods into their range and millennials actively supporting recycled goods in the name of sustainability, maybe we were ahead of our time.

A trader complains that the acknowledged quiet months of February and September have now been joined by May. We reckon that any month with a Federal Election is a certainty for that list.

Another complaint from a trader who said he entered retail for the “cut and thrust” but seems to be doing a lot more “wait and see”.

A couple of traders are off to China next week to check out new product opportunities at the source. They have organised agent contacts, a translator, and container space for any purchases. What do they say? “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We wish these two a successful trip.

Photographing with mobile phones is a common pastime, particularly for Asian tourists it would seem. Most of us have moved on from “no photos” with the knowledge that social media can be a powerful promotional tool. But one of our traders wants to know where we draw the line. He recently had to ask a photo taking group to make way for customers. As the photo taking becomes more intrusive, he believes we need some strategies.

A customer wonders why we don’t screen off our vacant areas like shopping centres do, or like we do at the Night Market with black cloth. He believes that empty aisles are a very poor look.

A newcomer to the Night Market says he can’t get used to the sight of customers entering his stall with a glass of wine in their hand. He is not complaining. Business is good at night and he believes the more relaxed “entertainment” environment helps.

The Pain Of Moving Stalls

Traders making way for beautification works in Queen St. and containers in SBA are currently going through moving pains and some are going to need help.

There are very good reasons for asking traders to move as we adopt a key recommendation of the People’s Panel for more rest areas for customers and we create a cohesive container offer in String Bean Alley, part of the “Market of Markets” vision for QVM.

The logistics may seem quite simple on paper, particularly given all the stall vacancies in the Upper Market, but in fact moves like this are difficult to co-ordinate. Not only are there endless variations on stall placement that need to be worked through, but for many traders this is not just a matter of moving locations.

Some traders may consider their current spot has significant advantages. They may have formed strong associations with their neighbours. They may have finely tuned their stall set-up and these setups are not always easily duplicated in other spots. They may have entry and exit facilities that suit their business operation and that may include vehicle placement. There can be many reasons why a trader values his/her spot and they are all valid.

Yes, there is a bigger picture here of what is better for the market, and most traders get that. But there is a lot to weigh up. Is the stall area the same? Will adjustments be needed for stall equipment? Will business be as good and are they changing the dynamics with their competitors? Some traders need to place storage boxes with a neighbour and some are being asked to move from the comparatively weather protected J-L sheds to open aisle sheds like C,D, or E.

Some traders have comparatively easy moves, including moving to the stall next door. Others may have options in quite different locations. Ideally every trader will have a like for like option or something close to that. Not every outcome can be guaranteed, this is change after all. But traders need to speak with their Precinct Manager if they are genuinely concerned about their options. This is a difficult logistics exercise, and with open discussion and a little patience, it can be made to work for all participants.

Latest Retail News - 5/5/2019

Latest Retail News – 5/5/2019
1. Four’n’Twenty Pies to be sold in Japan.
2. Former Myer CEO, Richard Umbers, joins Kaufland.
3. Proposed merger between Sainsburys and ASDA blocked.
4. Queensland bans outdoor junk food advertising in bid to tackle obesity.
5. Amazon doubles quarterly income.
6. Flight Centre shares plummet as poor conditions plague travel sector.
7. JB HiFi reaffirms 2019 guidance.
8. Coles website down for 3 days.
9. Online made-to-measure suit company, InStitchu, opens in David Jones stores.
10. Supermarkets lose liquor share to independants.
11. Ikea opens first small format store in Sydney with no checkouts.

Articles Worth A Read – 5/5/2019
Are you catering for drunk shoppers? -

How to come up with completely new innovations -

QVM In The News - 5/5/2019

The market redevelopment seems to be back on track after a shock .... Queen Victoria Market chief executive Stan Liacos, who knew Capp from their ...
Boutique hotel operator Veriu has announced its first Veriu-branded Melbourne offering at the city's Queen Victoria Market. The new-build hotel is ...
Zoos in Victoria will no longer sell water or soft drink in plastic bottles in a bid ... The move comes as Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market is set to stop ...
Sydney-based boutique hotel chain Veriu will operate a new 111-room hotel at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market as part of the redevelopment of the ...
The beloved Queen Victoria Market is the 140-year-old beating heart of the city and Melbourne's most-popular attraction. With more than 600 stalls, ...