Sunday 30 December 2012

Cost Effective Mini Banner

The photo shows a mini counter top banner that was purchased by a trader from Officeworks for just $25 including printing.

The banner rolls down into the base just like the full size versions and is ideal for pack up retailing like at QVM. For professional appearance, convenience, and low cost, this product ticks the boxes.
Thanks to Xenia for the tip.

Positive Results From Special Monday Trading

Monday 24th December was a special trading day as the market’s food traders took advantage of high Christmas demand for food. The top end of the market was also open and, despite many General Merchandise Traders staying away, those that attended generally reported good business.

The exception appeared to be our souvenir stalls who reported quiet business but any trader who was able to cater to the demand for last minute Christmas gifts seemed to do well.
One trader said it was like a good Friday’s trade while another said it was significantly better than the day before (the 39 degree Sunday).

Friday 28 December 2012

Boxing Day Sales Meet Expectations

Reports from retailers and retailer associations suggest that Boxing Day sales have pretty much met expectations although card usage spiked.
Retailers expect a small percentage increase over 2011 which would be in line with Christmas lead-up sales which were generally flat. The ARA and Roy Morgan Research predicted that sales in the period from Boxing Day through to mid-January would increase by just 1% over last year. In the US, retail sales for the two months leading up to Christmas increased by only 0.7%.
Credit card use showed a jump with NAB reporting a 30% increase over last year and nearly 4 million card transactions for the day.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Tourist Watch – 28/12/2012

Tourist Watch – 28/12/2012

1.       Cricket – Boxing Day test,Australia V Sri-Lanka, Wednesday 26th-Sunday 30th at MCG.

2.       Cricket – KFC T20 Big Bash, Melbourne Renegades V Adelaide Strikers, Wednesday 2nd January Etihad Stadium.

3.       Cruise Ships – Friday 28th December, “Dawn Princess”.

-          Sunday 30th December, “Seven Seas Voyager”.

-          Wednesday 2nd January “Costa neoRomantica” (2 days).

-          Friday 4th January “Crystal Symphony” (2 days).

Sunday 23 December 2012

Latest Retail News – 22/12/2012

Latest Retail News – 22/12/2012

1.      Boost Juice partners with coffee chain Cibo Expresso.
2.      ACCC likely to approve new casual licensing code for shopping centres.
3.      Myer launches new loyalty app and digital gift cards.
4.      Ibisworld predicts clothing will contract by 2.3% per year over 5 years.
5.      Leading international fashion label, Ted Baker, will open its fourth Australian store in Adelaide next year.
6.      Boost Juice is to try entering the Chinese market again after terminating an unsuccessful franchise arrangement in May this year.
7.      McDonalds warned over spam email activity.
8.      Cotton On fined $1m for selling unsafe children's nightdresses and pyjamas.
9.      Billabong shares dive following renewed takeover activity.
10.  Stationer, WHSmith, has opened its first dedicated children’s store at Melbourne Airport  under new brand, Zoodle by WHSmith.
11.  EFTPOS to offer special rewards to encourage card use in restaurants.
12.  ARA and Roy Morgan Research predict 1% rise in post Boxing Day sales over last year.
13.  ACCC blocks takeover of Trading Post business.
14.  Gen Y (18-24 year olds) dominate online purchasing in Australia.

Traders Share Their Christmas Wishes.

With Christmas around the corner we thought we'd share some thoughts from Queen Victoria Market traders to their fellow traders. Share your own thoughts after the video if you wish by clicking on "Have Your Say".

Have Your Say - click here.

Friday 21 December 2012

New Years Digital Resolution

An interesting article on suggests we should use our New Year’s Resolutions to prepare for the digital revolution in retailing.

Let’s face it, for many QVM Traders there is a long way to go, and the task is rather daunting but, taking it one task at a time makes a lot of sense. Our customers are embracing digital communication in a big way. So it makes good business sense to accommodate them.

Where to start? Here are a few ideas –

1.      Allow your customers to contact you via mobile phone or email and advertise those addresses.

2.      Set up a facebook page. It is quite easy to do and to update. Facebook is often called the poor man’s website. When you are set up you can link with the QVM facebook page and their 15,000 friends.

3.      Set up a website. There are a number of ways to do this, including the MYOB/Google free offer. Or ask a fellow trader who already has a website.

4.      If you already have a website, consider an upgrade and make sure it is mobile friendly.

5.      Start using a smartphone. It is a good business tool and it makes it easier to communicate with your customers.

There is a long list of digital resolutions you could adopt this year and you probably already have some things in mind. Of course good business planning takes place every day but for those of us who have been a little lax, the pending New Year is a good time to start.

Small Businesses Should NOT Be Unpaid Tax Collectors.

Research By the University of NSW shows that the cost of collecting GST for Australian small businesses is significantly higher than for our overseas counterparts.

GST collection makes up 58% of our total internal compliance costs compared with 40% for South African, British and Canadian small businesses.
On average it costs Australian small businesses $11,950 per year just to collect GST. Where do I send my invoice?

What Is Queen Victoria Market?

Ever tried to encapsulate the basic ingredients of QVM in a few lines? Here are the four ingredients identified at our last TAC meeting.

1.      Traditional working market.

2.      Metropolitan market with broad appeal.

3.      Key tourist destination.

4.      Open-air trading environment.

Have we missed anything? Give us your views.

Friday 14 December 2012

Latest Retail News – 14/12/2012

Latest Retail News – 14/12/2012
1.      MYOB survey reveals Small Business pessimism deteriorates.
2.      Mastercard research shows 98% of online customers prefer Australian suppliers.
3.      ACCC launches new smartphone app to advise customers on their rights.
4.      Latest ABS figures show household saving remains at record levels.
5.      McDonalds report November sales growth positive after October decline.
6.      Gucci owners buy majority share in major Chinese jewellery brand Qeelin.
7.      Swedish fashion group H&M to introduce used clothing recycling instore.
8.      UK online fashion store, Asos, says it is sending 4 jumbo jets of goods to Australia each week.
9.      Booktopia declared most loved store in 2012 after 65,000 customer reviews.
10.  Good Guys partner with PayPal in new customer payment options.
11.  Lend Lease to carry out a $1 billion revamp of Sydney's convention and entertainment centre precinct including a retail component.
12.  Eleven retail trade associations join to form Australian Retail Group.
13.  Collins Booksellers open first hospital bookshop at RNS Hospital, Sydney.
14.  UK based international fashion house, Asos, reports 30% sales growth year on year.
15.  Kogan branches out with mobile phone service offer.
16.  Westpac advise consumer confidence down 4% in December.
17.  Dan Murphy’s introduce “Click & Collect” enabling online ordering and instore collection.

New Supermarket

Metcash have launched Value Depot, a bulk purchase wholesale warehouse concept at Eagle Farm in Queensland with more to follow.

Value Depot will stock around 35,000 products in dry grocery, fast moving consumer goods, general merchandise and fresh food, matching or beating the price of the national chains and offering strong discounts with bulk purchases.
The stores will be open to all ABN holders and there are no membership fees.

Website Renewal Underway

Congratulations to the crowd at digital agency twenty4 for gaining the QVM website renewal project.

Find out more about twenty4 here -   and scroll down to the link about their QVM Research Trip.
What sort of features should traders be looking for in a new website? 

Traders Must Maintain The Mystery

There was an article in The Age this week headed “The End of Overseas Shopping” which raised some interesting concepts about new consumerism and perhaps identified an opportunity for QVM traders.

Shoppers can of course travel the world to shop and they can do it all from their lounge rooms. For many customers it is no longer necessary to set off to your country of choice with an empty suitcase but does online really satisfy the excitement of finding that special product as you move from shop to shop (or stall to stall) on a traditional shopping trip?
In the mail this week, my household received a catalogue entitled “Hard to Find”. As the name suggests it contained  a whole range of products that are not mainstream, a little out of the ordinary, and not found on every street corner (or website) although ironically it is all accessed online.
Traders who have products that are new, rare, and not readily available online are likely to excite their customers and keep them coming back. Don’t have any products in that category? Maybe that is your challenge for 2013.

Giftware Sector Shows Strain

Gift and homewares wholesaler, Oxford Lane, has gone into administration after only 18 months in business with debts of about $700,000.

Oxford Lane’s clients were a variety of small homeware and giftware retailers.
In a separate event, giftware retailer Jomena Pty. Ltd, who operated a store in Hampton St. Hampton, have gone into administration this week.

Myer Calls For More Flexibility For Retailers

At the company’s AGM on 8th December, Myer’s Chairman called for greater productivity and flexibility as Australia’s retail sector comes under threat from online competitors. He also blamed the cost of doing business for the department stores poor performance.

Several retailers including Harvey Norman have called for more flexible wage arrangements,  lowering of the GST threshold on goods purchased overseas, and improvements in Australia’s parcel handling and recording procedures.

Ebay Says Mobile Sales Up, PayPal Mobile Payments Up 221%

Ebay have reported an unprecedented shift in transactions on mobiles. Apparently one-third of all transactions are “touched” by mobile, meaning users access listings or post via mobile even if the sale isn’t made on a mobile phone.

Ebay says December 9th was the single biggest mobile shopping day ever and significantly occurred outside the expected peak of Cyber Monday.

Tourist Watch – 14/12/2012

Tourist Watch – 14/12/2012

A quiet week for tourist events.

1.       KFC Big Bash – The Melbourne Stars v Tasmanian Hurricanes at MCG Saturday.

2.       Cruise ships - The “Dawn Princess” berths at Melbourne on Saturday for one day and the “Diamond Princess follows up on Tuesday for one day.

Sunday 9 December 2012

New Dress Code for Traders

We are a fairly casual lot when it comes to dress but if new trader Robert, and his staff are any guide, we should perhaps be a little more formal.

In fact, this is not formality but a bit of fun, and if theatrics entertain our customers, why not give it a try. Robert is from Grampians Pure, purveyors of natural organic skin care products –

10/12/2012 09:51:35  "Only thing missing is the horse and cart!!"                  

Saturday 8 December 2012

Bus Tour Operators Mislead Passengers

Overheard by a trader recently was a Chinese tour bus host advising their passengers to enjoy their time at the market but NOT to buy any T-shirts or souvenirs because they would be taken to another outlet with a better selection.

We know that some tour operators get kick-backs from retail outlets so we shouldn’t be surprised by this event. Our expert advice (who could be more expert than half a dozen QVM souvenir traders) is that you cannot find a more comprehensive range of mainstream Australian souvenirs than at QVM and you definitely cannot find cheaper prices.
Anyway, that is irrelevant. The point is that today’s tour operators cannot be trusted to give unbiased advice to our (potential) customers and we either lock in a deal with existing tour operators that protects our interests or we do the tours ourselves. QVM make good money out of cooking schools and night markets. Why not tourist tours?

Have Your Say – click here

10/12/2012 11:42:00 Tour Operators "It is a well known fact these people only service those who pay
It would be  good if we could run this type of service ourselves Bus drivers only direct people to those who pay them and have been doing so for many years.  Tourists are taken in by these people all over the world I've only got one word for them Lowlife They also encourage their passengers to barter for ridiculous prices I've got no time for them at all they don't help the market just themselves."
 Jillian E shed                 

Friday 7 December 2012

Traders Comments - General

07/12/2012 21:50:19 Good Cop - Bad Cop "Every movie have Bad Cop and Good Cop.
On our Market Management looks there is only Bad Cop.
Whenever I have to say something or ask for something from the Office there is always the same person, always the same Bad Cop Mr. Ramie.
And guess, answer is always the same: "" Sorry Mate, we can't bend the Rules""
Please Jenny , give us another option.
As I can't make appointment trough the office, can I ask you trough I did try 3 times already.
Or there is another option?
Thank you for your time.
Just Leather Products Pty Ltd
Mob.Ph: 0425 769 075" Mino JLP Melbourne  

07/12/2012 20:05:11 GENERAL "The problem we have had and continue to have is their are to many inconsistencies with market policy and enforcement..traders have their say but their are not enough of them to voice their opinion as evidenced through the meetings which comprised mostly repeat traders who made up over 85% of attendance..At the moment many traders are whingeing about sales..why would they care about anything else.rightly so they are concerned bout their "backyard"..Their is simply no consistency..The market office are lost about what to do ,they have no power to enforce or put a plan into place, they are being played by the board and the council..and in turn we traders are being toyed around by all ...To many lies, chiefs and not enough action..What a pity..Sentiment around the market is beyond negative numbers..Very their going to be anyone left who can afford to pay rent.."                               

Tourist Watch – 7/12/2012

Tourist Watch – 7/12/2012

1.      ISAF Sailing World Cup at Sandringham Yacht Club attracts local and international Olympic athletes. 2/12/2012 – 8/12/2012.

2.      KFC Big Bash Cricket at Etihad Stadium Friday night.

3.      International Champions Trophy Hockey on Saturday.

4.      Cruise ship “Costa neoRomantica” – berths Melbourne Wednesday for two days.

TAC Meeting Sets The Platform

Yesterday's TAC meeting was more an information session than anything else but, in setting the platform for moving on to some of the key issues facing our market, it made a good start.

Trader’s representatives were provided with a management overview of the role of the TAC, and the core qualities that identify the market and how it differs from other shopping destinations. We examined the retail elements that will require our attention if we are to continue exciting our customers and compete in a new retail environment. We were taken through some of the physical facility management that is needed to accommodate our customers and we looked at the various marketing avenues that will help draw more customers to our stalls.
Finally we talked about the establishment of two sub-committees to help carry the workload. There will be one sub-committee looking at retail matters like, product mix, customer flow, license arrangements etc., and one sub-committee looking at marketing issues and opportunities.

Over coming days we will examine various aspects of the discussion in more detail and seek your comments on this website.

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2012

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2012
1.      October food sales up, household goods down, overall no change.
2.      Reserve Bank reduces official interest rates by 0.25%
3.      GPT Property Group (Melbourne Central, Highpoint) introduce smartphone app.
4.      Fashion brand, Kenzo, to reinvent itself following poor profit performance.
5.      Murdoch shuts down his iPad newspaper, The Daily, due to lack of readers.
6.      Unemployment fell unexpectedly in November from 5.4% to 5.2%.
7.      Dimmeys taken to court by Consumer Affairs over alleged hazardous or unsafe products.
8.      November job advertisements the lowest since January 2010.
9.      Ambassador Clothing collapses after 68 years in business.
10.  Repco wins this year’s Retail Employer of the Year Award.
11.  Westpac, Commonwealth and NAB reduce rates by 0.20%

Vodafone Introduces Mobile Payment System

Vodafone and Visa have announced  a new Android app that will allow mobile payments at   suitably equipped retail outlets.

Vodafone will provide their customers with a payment activated SIM card which will require a special prepaid account for funding and then can be used for tap’n’go transactions.

Has us wondering how long before terminals for receiving such payments are available to market traders. 

Storage Box Issue Needs Fixing

Our humble storage boxes were in the trader news a few months ago when QVM decided we needed to remove these functional but ugly utilities from prime display areas and store them in M shed. There was much gnashing of teeth as traders lost some of the convenience associated with having storage boxes at hand but it was generally conceded that we were visually better off having them behind roller doors. This was just one of the measures designed to make our market a more appealing place to shop and to address some of the customer complaints about our shopping environment.

It appears that personal convenience has once again taken over from the greater purpose as the following two photos show. They were taken at 9:00 am this morning.

 On the left is a collection of storage boxes that have been placed in an empty stall in a prime trading area. Barely one aisle away is a near empty storage shed waiting to take the offending boxes.
Traders need to make up their mind whether they want a more professional looking shopping environment with long term benefits or the short term convenience of accessing storage boxes. Is it just laziness on the part of traders? Do we need more control from market staff? If traders don’t take a responsible approach, can we expect more rules and regulations to force the desired result? What do you think?

Have Your Say – click here

07/12/2012 18:15:43 Storage boxes & parking "I agree with your observation about storage boxes being left in empty spaces during trading hours.  Some people are just selfish.  Boxes and vehicles should be stored within the confines of your stall or stored off site.  Today we had to located a driver to move his car from a stall in C shed when his stall was in K shed. This was not an isolated instance - it happens most days. If you can't park your car/van/truck on your site - put it in the car park. If you can't store your boxes - put them in one of the sheds." Terry Lawn (Airllywood)                 

Flight Attendants Ask For Carry-on Review

Flight attendants are complaining that strict check-in rules are causing passengers to take more luggage into the cabin. More carry-on parcels means more work for Flight Attendants including the stowage of larger and heavier parcels.

Just what we don’t need – another reason for our airline travellers to be discouraged from taking  goods home. Or perhaps it is another reason why we should be looking at a delivery service for interstate customers.

Credit Card Fraud Targets Small Business

A Romanian syndicate has been arrested after targeting small businesses computer records.

Apparently small businesses are considered a soft touch by computer criminals because of their relatively un-sophisticated security systems. Thousands of credit card details were collected from small business computers before the thefts were discovered.
Small businesses are urged to be aware of their security obligations and recommendations include deleting all customer credit card details at the completion of a transaction.

Famous Quotes On Taxation

It is nice to have something in common with some of our more famous public figures and celebrities and when it comes to taxation there seems to be general agreement. Try these –

“For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”–Winston Churchill.
“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money.”–Arthur Godfrey.

“Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?”–Peg Bracken.

Government Asked to Remove Privacy Anomaly on Business Names Register

ASIC publishes an online list of registered business names and addresses. The problem is that for many small businesses, their business address is also their home address. That raises privacy issues. ASIC has agreed to look at the problem and come up with recommendations for the Government.

Government Changes Rules On Cafe Menus

Some time ago The Federal Government  introduced rules that forced cafes and restaurants to have fully priced menus on surcharge days (usually public holidays). They have now backed down.

Cafes and restaurants are now allowed to simply add a line to their menus that state an identified surcharge will apply on Public Holidays rather than change all individual prices. A case of bureaucracy acknowledging they had used a steam roller to crack a nut.

Why I Didn’t Bargain On A Car Purchase

I decided to purchase a small second hand car this weekend and I just accepted the seller’s price without bargaining. Before you accuse me of stupidity let me explain.

Price bargaining has been common in car sales for a long time and, of course, it is now a common theme in all areas of retailing. It has become the bane of market traders. Every day in the market you can hear traders crying “Don’t they understand the value of these products?” - “How can I reduce my prices when they are already the lowest in Melbourne?”
The seller of my car was probably a little surprised when I accepted his price but I explained that I had done my homework. I went online and checked out the price of 25 cars around Australia which had mileage within 10% of his car, had the same features, and appeared to be in similar condition. His price was a realistic market expectation. If it hadn’t been realistic I would have bargained with him. I explained that as a QVM Trader, I always look for a sale where the customer is happy and the retailer is happy. Bargaining for the sake of bargaining is not something I support.

I might have been able to get a couple of hundred dollars off if I had told the seller his car wasn’t worth the asking price but personally I got more satisfaction out of recognising the car’s value and ensuring that both buyer and seller were happy. If I expect my customers to accept a fair asking price, I have to do the same when I buy. Now, if I can just convince some of my customers to adopt the same attitude.

07/12/2012 18:35:14 Why I didn't bargain....... "Some answers to customers when they choose to ""negotiate""
Q  Is that your best price?
A  No - another $10 would be better

Q  Couldn't I buy this in Bali for $20 less?
A  Probably -  go to Bali.

Q  It says $50 on the ticket - is that the real price?
A  No - I printed all these tickets just for fun."

New Facebook Feature Targets Customers

Facebook have introduced a new feature called Custom Audiences.

Basically you upload your customer list to Facebook – they link up the information to identify your customer’s Facebook identities, and behold, you have a Custom Audience of your customers on Facebook.
Sounds like a good way of expanding your Facebook exposure. Check out the details here -