Sunday, 12 January 2020

Heard Under The Sheds – 12/1/2020

Businesses for sale – a number of market businesses have popped up on Gumtree this week including Viva La Calavera and Nautical Replicas in String Bean Alley, and a children’s clothing business in J Shed. More are expected to follow.

L Shed and String Bean Alley traded for the first time on a Thursday this week and reports were mixed on the day. Although a number of Traders said that Thursday sales looked better after a very quiet Friday. Management confirmed that it will take some time for the precinct to become fully populated on Thursdays.

Healthy Working Environment for Traders – one trader applauds the no smoking ban but asks if management can now turn their attention to protecting Traders on extremely hot and stuffy days. We are wondering if the following photo might show a solution.

Perhaps Pete’s water mister could also be used to put out cigarettes.

Smoking ban – with customers exempt from the smoking ban until City Council activates a city wide ban, a Trader asks if buying a cup of coffee from a market outlet makes him a customer at least for long enough to have a smoke. Traders can be very creative with their questions.

Paper Carry Bags 1 - A Trader reports that he has embraced the paper carry bag option from QVM’s F1 shop because they are cost effective and a lot more convenient than travelling to his bag wholesaler.

Paper Carry Bags 2 – another Trader says he personalises the QVM carry bag with his own colourful tag that attaches to the bag handle and doubles as a business card.

You won’t believe it, but it is true – a customer returned a pair of ear rings to a Trader this week asking for a refund because she had only experienced bad luck since purchasing them. The Trader wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry but in a tick for customer service excellence, agreed to a refund. The Trader’s neighbour suggested a more appropriate response might have been “I can see what you mean by bad luck, because guess what – we don’t give refunds!”

Power outage – a high truck managed to tangle with overhead tram wires at the Dudley St. roundabout on Friday and bring down live cables all along Peel St. adjacent to the market. The tangle of wires caused traffic mayhem. Early reports that Ronnie had caused the outage by turning on three juicers in his van at once proved incorrect.

Have Your Say - click here.

More Work Needs More Work

The push for more hours and more customer convenience can have downsides and SBA Traders are starting to feel the pinch.

Traders in String Bean Alley started regular trading on a Thursday from this week. This is all part of a plan to bring SBA trading in line with the rest of the market. Tuesday trading is to start later in July, but a number of SBA Traders have asked for a stay of execution.

The problem is that while the rest of the Upper Market trades 5 days, individual Traders can choose whether or not to trade, but in permanent containers there really isn’t a choice. If SBA is open then all participants are expected to trade.

And many SBA Traders are unique - they are manufacturing Traders. SBA is an aisle focusing on small artisan type manufacturing businesses. The problem here is that manufacturing requires workshop time and Traders can’t be in two places at once. Five days trading plus a night market doesn’t leave much time for manufacturing.

Of course it is possible to staff a container and this was the issue faced in shopping centres in the past when they went to 7 days trading and were forced to roster staff. But turning over hundreds of thousands of dollars in a shopping centre gives you a lot more financial flexibility than most market traders enjoy, certainly in the Upper Market.

QVM’s push for more hours is understandable. Customer convenience is a prime driver in this retail revolution and customers are demanding more access. And of course QVM earn their income mainly from rent. They would be neglecting their corporate responsibility if they didn’t look to maximise new rental opportunities.

So we have a push for more hours which will increase the pressure on small manufacturing businesses. At least two manufacturing businesses in SBA do staff their containers already to create manufacturing flexibility although that is not necessarily feasible for all Traders.

Thursday trading is new for SBA and adjoining L Shed. Clearly it will take time to get the precinct fully populated and operating to maximum potential. Maybe the answer is to put a hold on the introduction of Tuesday trading until Traders are able to properly work out what that potential is.

By Greg Smith.

Selling A Business Workshop

LAST CALL FOR SBMSQ & A Session – Selling a Business” to be held 11am Wednesday 15th January 2020 in the Trader Lounge.  A light lunch will be provided.  Registration is required for catering purposes at

If you are thinking of selling in the next year….
Come along to a Q & A Session
On Wednesday 15th January 2020

More than 50% of Exits are INVOLUNTARY.
More than 70% of Business Owners have NOT THOUGHT ABOUT IT = no exit strategy.

Without fully investigating the value that has been built up over all the years, you may be potentially throwing away all your blood, sweat and tears, and not-to-mention, your hard-fought time and hard-earned money, for nothing.

Is your business in good shape for sale?

This is your opportunity to ask any questions about selling your business, for example, how do I work out what my business may be worth? (Don't forget to write down your questions before the event). Denise can help you facilitate freedom from your Business no longer serving your purpose with strictly confidential SBMS mentoring.

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2020
Time: 11am - 1pm  Includes a light lunch
Venue: Board Room, Trader Lounge (266 Victoria Street)
*** Please note registration is required for catering.
RSVP  to, tel Madalen on 1300 631 171 or register online

Latest Retail News – 12/1/2020

Latest Retail News – 12/1/2020
1. QVM joins the fund raising effort for bushfire victims.
2. Harris Scarfe to close 21 stores.
3. Sydney based bag brand, From St.Xaviers, launches range in Selfridges, London.
4. Consumer confidence at 4 year low.
5. America’s giant home décor chain, Pier 1, to close 450 stores.
6. Longer opening hours allow supermarkets to boost sales.
7. UK supermarkets have their worst Christmas since 2014.
8. Reject Shop asked to explain 40% rise in share price.
9. Bardot to close 58 stores.
10. NAB says Black Friday online sales up 62%.
11. EB Games to close 19 un-profitable stores.

Articles Worth Reading:
Out of the box ideas to try when sales are struggling -

Retail store checkouts to change massively -

Personalisation will be 2020’s most over-hyped marketing practice -

American Dream Mall has made it at last -

Forever 21 turns to e-commerce after retail failures -

Retailing is moving back to main street in 2020 -

QVM In The News - 12/1/2020

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Queen Victoria Markets, the largest ... market to head towards the South Melbourne market and enjoy dimsums or ...
Shed X at Queen Victoria Market, Queen St, Melbourne 3000. 03 9283 6100. 5-10pm. $35. Fri Mar 20.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Heard Under The Sheds - 5/1/2020

The ups and downs of trading - a Trader complained of lack lustre sales on Saturday afternoon, only to excitedly announce an hour later that he had just had his best ever single sale. And that was from a local couple.

One of our Traders is concerned that international publicity about our fires will impact on visitor numbers. Australia already scares off enough potential visitors with our sharks and spiders.

On a related matter - a customer whose credit card was declined blamed it on the bushfires.

These campers decided to get the city experience under our sheds.

Is this a first? This tour from a cruise ship came on bikes supplied by the ship. Apparently they only had one hour at our market before moving on.

Blue Steel is the name given to Adam Sandler’s famous pose in Zoolander and we reckon one of our Traders has nailed it. Thanks to Michael from Spotty Dot for the photo and to Tony (Blue Steel) Pierrakos for the pose.

A few Traders in SBA have traded on Tuesdays and Thursdays post Christmas with positive results. Regular Thursday trading in SBA and L Shed starts on 9th January.

A Trader quips that 2020 must be the year for visionaries.

New Years Resolutions? - none planned for one of our Traders who insists you can’t improve on perfection.

New Years Resolution 2 - this Trader wants to learn more. He says the minute you stop learning and applying new ideas, your business will suffer.

One of our Traders loves how some international customers ignore baggage concerns and just load up carry bags to take on board. “If it doesn’t get weighed it will be fine.”

The Top Victraders Stories of 2019

Victraders readership in 2019 reached record levels and the following 9 articles were the most read for varying reasons. Just click on the link for the full story.

This article mentioned the word "harassment" and that was probably enough to get it high on the list.

The following two articles were about the same subject (filling stall gaps) but they were 6 months apart and managed to get high readership each time.

"Best of" articles often get attention and this one was also about food so it was a no-brainer. But how did one of our String Bean Alley Traders get in the story?

The Committee of Trustees got some attention here.

A report of an intriguing Council meeting with a lot of QVM content and a few trader appearances.

This article revealed some of the emotion attached to market life.

This article was about a fairly dry subject - what to call our biggest group of Traders - but it certainly attracted a lot of attention.

And you can't beat a personal story for maximising readership particularly when social media takes it up.

Latest Retail News – 5/1/2020

Latest Retail News – 5/1/2020
1. Uniqlo sales rise 25% year on year in Australia.
2. Toms Shoes hand business over to creditors.
3. Harrods to open in Shanghai.
4. Dan Murphy’s opening smaller stores.
5. Tiffany’s offered a US$112,000 advent calendar at Christmas.
6. Christmas gift card sales surged in 2019.

Articles Worth A Read:
The Big Retail Hits In Europe For 2019:

Amazon is a Brand Disaster Waiting to Happen:

Predicting Radical Retail Change In The Next 5 Years: