Saturday 7 December 2013

Why Reduce General Merchandise When There Are More Positive Alternatives?

This article has been re-posted following a number of comments. - Ed

Many traders are concerned at reducing the size of the General Merchandise area of our market and with good reason. Reducing the number of stalls during tough times is seen as a knee jerk reaction that if applied during previous tough times (and there have been many of those) would have been regretted. The difficulty is that we don't really know how this latest downturn will play out. Is it just a short term downturn or is it a permanent change brought about by new consumer attitudes to retailing? 

An alternative suggested by one of our younger but well experienced traders is to become far more active in our recruiting. Fill our empty stalls with a dynamic range of new traders that add excitement and adventure to the QVM experience. Now we know that you don't just click your fingers to make these traders appear. Tough times have scared off many would-be-entrepreneurs. But with the right incentives, this trader believes we can fill the gaps and enhance the market at the same time. Incentives might include -

1. Rent reduction for the first 3 months.
2. Flexible trading periods. Many would-be-traders, particularly artisans, choose to work particular seasons. It suits their product range and their lifestyle.  
3. Assistance with displays, installation, and weather protection.
4. No license lock-ins. Like we said - be flexible.
5. Offer marketing and promotional assistance.
Our proponent suggests the opportunity could be advertised through the QVM website and the Traders Hub (A trader's circle of family members and business associates could be a rich source of applicants). He also suggests that this is not a gravy train. If the new trader can't handle full rent after 3 months they should move on and perhaps come back next year.

We like the idea. Being positive and creative beats the hell out of taking a backward step. But how realistic is this proposal? Is there really a pool of potential traders out there just waiting to be enticed to a place like QVM? Traders are leaving the market faster than we can replace them. We do know that the QVM recruiting staff are increasing their efforts to find suitable traders. Are they providing the right incentives? These are questions we will be asking our CEO. Stay tuned.

Have Your Say – click here.

06/12/2013 18:21:56 Reducing market size "This is a great article, it would be  easy to roll over and say that retail is tough, let's make it easier and reduce the size, but  that will make it easier for who ? The reality is that running a business isn't easier, there are good times bad times. we have to adjust to tough times. If you want to start work at 9, have everything in a nice little lockup shop, walk out at 3.30 then market life isn't for you,if you want  things handed to you on a platter, then running a business isn't for you either. All the hard work that comes from running a stall at the Queen Victoria Market is a lifestyle choice." 
07/12/2013 09:16:18 Why reduce general merchandise "I agree. We should concentrate on filling the market so that the market will look more attractive."
07/12/2013 12:05:09 no reduction of the Queen Victoria market "This is a great idea! Any reduction would create a negative attraction to this iconic tourist market." ly brothers 07/12/2013 13:08:22 Why reduce the market? "Reducing the market is not the answer while other shopping complexes are expanding. The people in the office should concentrate on creating more attraction hence providing a better marketing mix. The bulk of the customers are from interstate and from abroad. We should be expanding not reducing." Peter Rand
09/12/2013 13:56:30 Expanding " If all stalls were occupied without all the gaps and empty spaces we currently have The market would look better and work for everyone by all means we should have new traders with new items not just the current repeats in every aisle. Another issue people have said the market lacks atmosphere and character That is an issue traders need to address not management a few cheerful decorations in the food courts would brighten the place up during the festive Season Decorations are cheap in $2. shops so what's the excuse { Romeo'sTake Away Shop looks Great} They have made a big effort" JR E Shed
10/12/2013 08:58:31 Why You Need To Reduce? "Peter Rand has hit the nail on the head. Reducing the size will reduce the appeal, custom and eventually the end."