Sunday 22 September 2013

Casual Traders Are Worth their Weight In Gold

Trader Representative Stephen McLennan recently completed a review of the QVM casual stall allocation system and came to the conclusion that we don’t treat casuals well enough.

Stall allocations are full of uncertainties. Casual traders have to queue up each morning to find out what stalls are available for the day, they have to wait patiently for their turn to choose a stall, quickly head off to set up before customers start arriving, and often cope with unexpected hurdles like other trader’s vehicles or storage boxes being parked in their stall. Sometimes they experience unfriendly neighbours who have some irrational (and occasionally rational) reasons for not wanting them in their location.

It can be a stressful time and yet we really should be making it as easy as possible for traders on our casual pool because in many ways they are a very important part of our existence.
-        Variety and excitement are essential ingredients for attracting customers to our market and casuals provide those elements. They provide variety to our product mix and by moving around the market they create new intercepts for customers. In a market accused of having too much sameness, they are a great point of difference.
-        Retail innovation has to come from somewhere and, for QVM, the casual trader pool is one logical entry point. Markets around the world are seen as “business incubators” – places where small business entrepreneurship is allowed to develop and prosper. We have many examples at QVM where businesses have started off in our casual trader pool and gone into national and international fame.
-        Leave flexibility is important for traders. Unlike most other retail establishments, market traders get annual leave each year (8 weeks for PE licences and 4 weeks for SL licences). There are very good reasons why market traders need leave flexibility but it does impact on QVM rental returns. A strong pool of casual traders allows empty stalls to be filled and rental returns kept stable.

Casual traders make our market a better place. They add variety and excitement and they are an essential ingredient in growing retailing through innovation. Many casual traders will come and many will fail. Along the way they need a "fair go".Our role as established traders is to support and foster their time here. So the next time you have a casual trader setting up next to you, offer your support and friendship, be prepared to give advice if asked, and recognise that they actually help our bottom line. Casual traders are worth their weight in gold.

Have You Say - click here

23/09/2013 12:55:11 Casual Traders "Casual traders keep the market interesting  with new items appearing  rather than same and boring lines which   shoppers lose interest in after awhile  also the market works better when full.  With empty spaces  the market looks dull and  customers lose interest and go elsewhere" JR