Sunday 18 September 2011

Carpark Ripoff

We believe the concept of charging customers to park at our market is basically flawed and bad for business.
Customers drive to our market to spend their hard-earned on a variety of goods. We expect them to bypass their neighbourhood shopping centres ( where parking is generally free) to visit us. They have already spent extra on petrol to reach us but we then ask them to fork out for parking as well. Add in the inconvenience of queueing at paying machines and you wonder why they bother.
So why do we charge our customers? This is Melbourne City. This is where some of the dearest parking in the world exists. For various historical reasons Melbourne has a parking fee/fine mentality which is meant to deter congestion. We think it probably works very well, but when you are trying to attract customers you don’t want deterrents.
Suburban shopping centres say “Welcome, we want your business, we want you to buy heaps of goods, and we are going to make it easy for you by giving you free parking while you are giving us your business.”
Queen Victoria Market says “Welcome, we want your business, we want you to buy heaps of goods, but we’d rather you didn’t bring your car. If you can lift your shopping trolley up a few flights of stairs or in to a tram or train or bus we can accommodate you for free.”
What’s that you say? “All city customers have to pay for parking.” That may be true, but let’s face it, we are not competing with other city retailers when it comes to local drivers. We are competing with neighbourhood shopping centres ......and losing the race. And don’t talk to me about the free parking before 10 am. For starters, you’ve basically got to drive in with peak hour traffic. If you are rushing in for a last minute food item that may be OK, but if you are coming in for a relaxing shopping experience, particularly in the top end of the market, it is just not an option.
C’mon QVM! Let’s give some real customer service and encourage locals to drive into the market by offering continuous free parking just like every other major shopping complex outside the city. Our cash registers certainly need the extra business.

Comment - 19/9/11 0740
Agree 100%.
Nothing but greed from the council. You only have to look at the changed parking conditions on the periphery of the market.
7am start paying money all around Therry st, Queen st, and all around.
The wardens are out ready to pounce . The streets are empty. There is no need for them, yet as I come to work at 7.30, there they are issuing infringements. Is a sad site to see. It makes me mad.
Look I don’t know how or what we can do, but something has to be done, to welcome, the people here, not stop them.
- The market is a cash cow for the council, as well as an iconic place. Dont kill it. - Skippy