Wednesday night’s Channel 9 News segment about QVM has created considerable discussion under the sheds with many wondering if it did Traders any favours.
The segment involved a series of interviews with Traders who were generally blaming QVM management for dire trading conditions at the market. One observer pointed out that nobody is blaming shopping centres for the collapse of retail chains and it is difficult to believe that the public would see QVM in a different light.
Most people (including Traders) are aware that global retailing has been subjected to a barrage of issues over recent years. The impact has been described as a revolution with changing consumer sentiment causing a major examination of how retailers go about their business. Many retailers have succumbed to the pressure and gone under, and there is no suggestion that the “culling” process has stopped.
So did those Traders on Wednesday night give us any reason to believe that QVM is any different? Is it fair to lay blame solely at the foot of QVM management?
One of the participants suggested they were just looking to make the public aware of their plight. There was one comment on a QVM Facebook post which said “”Keep going to the Vic Market, the stall holders need our support…more than ever!” That may have been a voice in the wilderness, and certainly business levels over the days since the TV segment have not indicated any surge in public buying support. Some Traders fear it may have done the reverse.
One thing that Wednesday night clearly got right is that our livelihoods are in danger. This retail revolution is a serious fight for all retailers and the emotion is perfectly understandable. But maybe instead of looking for sympathy and blaming others, we can adopt positive co-operative action with our partners (management and customers) and take on a very difficult challenge head on. Like all good fights it won’t be easy.
By Greg Smith