Only at the Night Market - It was 9:30 pm, bitterly cold, a hail storm hit the market, and not one customer left the food queue at an outside food venue. That is commitment.
A couple of traders contributed $120 to a Market Officer’s charity challenge and two of their mates decided to contribute as well - but their contribution was $121. Never miss a chance for one-upmanship.
Some discussion under the sheds followed this week’s TRC meeting particularly in relation to trading hours. The transition to 9am to 3pm for the Upper Market during week days was pretty much expected but 5pm closing on Saturday and Sunday raised a few questions, essentially "Why?".
A customer from overseas said he was delighted to rug up for Melbourne’s chilly winter on Saturday, but then found himself sun-baking in the full glare of the sun, all on the same day.
A few Traders have commented on how good L Shed looks with all the new tenants on the South (carpark) side nestling up against the recently decorated SBA containers. It may take a few weeks for the economics to play out, but if looks count, L Shed should see a boost in foot traffic.
A certain purveyor of fabulous soups and juices in String Bean Alley has suggested that the vacant roller door sheds at the top of the aisle could be turned into a museum with interactive displays of the old market, a mini cinema, and educational elements for tourists, schools, and special interest groups. Contemporary light and sound shows could create quite an attraction.
A Trader suggests that the few remaining single use plastic bags in our market seem to be dominated by one category of Traders - those selling street clothing.
A Trader thought he had seen it all until he viewed a Uber motor cycle driving along the centre walkway to deliver a meal at 3:05pm on Sunday. It raises a few questions – Is that safe? Was the delivery for a customer or a trader? Should the world’s best food market be offended that someone found it necessary to go outside our market for food?
15/7/2019 Plastic Bags - "Unfortunately its not only street clothing with plastic bags, it seems that a number of my fellow souvenirs traders and t- shirt traders can’t understand the new rule. We look a but foolish if this keeps happening. You can’t advertise plastic free, when we aren’t . Please don’t comment that its only a few, I don’t want to hear excuses." - Drita McLennan
Thanks Drita - Ed
15/7/2019 Hours - "So how many different sets of hours will we have now.?
It has already been proven that until 5pm in the deli hasn’t worked, so why push it. What seems to escape the powers that be is that we are small businesses that are mostly operated by1-2 people. If we are expected to trade till 5, what work/life balance does that give. Go one step back, we need hours to be across the board in all areas. You may get away with the fresh sections with early hours but in the upper market to have Stringbean Alley, Information hub and general merchandise all on different time, is why marketing can’t market us. All areas in the top end should trade the same. If the people know that the market is open until 3 pm everyday, then they will remember. Can I please see the surveys results that are been sprouted as the reasons for 5pm and the questions that were asked to get this time? Will the rents go up ? A better option would be a standard 4pm finish everyday." - Drita McLennan
Thanks Drita - some great points. There is some data on city shopping habits that may have influenced the 5pm close and I will see if I can find that - Ed.
Ed: 1215 15/7/2019
The answer to the question "Why is 5:00pm closing being proposed for Saturday and Sunday" may lie in this graphic showing CoM pedestrian counts in 2016. The dotted red line shows hourly pedestrian counts on weekends and the vertical red line shows where a 5:00pm closing would intersect, obviously still within peak pedestrian times for the city. Would this translate for the various QVM precincts on weekends?