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.