Sunday 30 March 2014

Free Training For Putting Your Business Online

Small Business Victoria is holding a 2 hour seminar this Wednesday just for QVM Traders.
The seminar is all about how to go online and will be conducted by Ailsa Page a marketing expert with 18 years experience and a reputation for making complex topics entertaining and easy to understand. All traders are invited to attend.

When: Wednesday 2nd April.
Time: 9:30am to 11:30am.
Where: Small Business Information Centre, 113 Exhibition St. Melbourne.

To book your place contact Victoria Niewalda on 9320 5843, Greg Smith on 0406 222 020 or email

Traders Comment On Two Current Issues

Thank you to these traders for their comments - 

29/03/2014 09:04:30 Redevelopment - general merchandise changes "It is noted that a possible change could be a reduction in stalls, by size and amount of stalls. I have a question that l would like answered:
If my stalls are reduced in size, which will impact the number of products l can display, the available ranges, reduce my set up look and shopping experience at my stall, therefor ultimately reducing my overall sales turnover, therefor my profit, resulting in a lower wage, will there be compensation for this?
I am sure that if you asked any of the QVM Management, City of Melbourne councillors  or state politicians if they would take a large reduction in salary during the time of the redevelopment they would not be willing, but this is a real potential for all traders if traders stalls are reduced.
This is the business that pays me my weekly wage, pays my mortgage, my gas, electricity, water, phone and puts food on the table at home. This is not a something l do to subsidise my income to pay off debts or to have additional income, this is my income, and this is a concern that by reducing my stall size you reduce my income." Lance
29/03/2014 15:00:56 Media reports "I'm sure Jim did not mean those comments to be blown out of proportion  anyway he deserves an apology the media should have more sense than to report things they can easily edit .
I am very annoyed about the suggestion Stallholders pay $20. per day rent
that would suggest to the public we are all paying very low rents and making huge profits on cheap junk.  That really needs to be corrected and the media needs to realise we all pay Rents Taxes and other on going business expenses  we dont get our stock over the rooftops on a dark night  we are legit.  businesses these things tarnish the image of the market in a big way" A & J   E Shed

Have Your Say - click here

Public Market Guru Coming To QVM

David K. O’Neil, the global public market expert is coming to QVM for discussions early in April. His experience with over 200 US and international markets is highly regarded.

“David K. O’Neil is an expert in the development of public markets and their local economies. He has been a consultant for over two hundred historic and new market projects, working with would-be entrepreneurs (including vendors, immigrants, minorities and farmers who had no previous entrepreneurial experience) to develop businesses that make money. Recent work includes projects in New Orleans (LA), Chicago (IL), Anchorage (AK), Dubai (UAE), Oakland (CA), Moscow (RUS), Detroit (MI), Charleston (SC), Ninotsminda (Rep. of GA), Roanoke (VA), Washington (DC), Boston (MA), Flint (MI) and Florianopolis (BRAZIL).
Mr. O’Neil is also a Senior Associate at Project for Public Spaces (PPS) in New York City and works with a network of individuals and groups that plan, design, develop and operate markets. With PPS, he recently completed research for the Ford Foundation to help markets become stronger vehicles for upward mobility and social integration. As the former General Manager of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, he created and directed the overall market revitalization for ten years from 1980-1990. After Reading Terminal Market, he traveled the ancient trade routes of Asia, studying markets in cities and remote areas, walking over a thousand miles.”

“What O’Neil has is an instinctive sense of the need to sustain the life of the city within the market.” – Diversions Magazine

Latest Retail News – 30/3/2014

Latest Retail News – 30/3/2014

1. Starbucks start serving beer and light meals in hundreds of outlets.
2. Urban renewal expert says empty Chapel St. shops a worrying trend.
3. Premier Investments (Just Jeans etc.) lifts first half profit by 12%.
4. Westfield sells 3 UK malls.
5. Westfield introduces short term leases for new fashion designers.
6. Rundle Mall’s vacant Charles St Plaza in central Adelaide to be converted to pop-up concept.
7. Walmart continues to trim Chinese stores as downturn bites.
8. Retail industry supports government moves to cut red tape.
9. Tasmania Distillery wins world’s best single malt whisky at World Whisky Awards in London.
10. The average Australian now spends more time on mobile phone than watching TV.
11. Last year’s BRW Rich Listers, Paul & Ian Everest of clothier Unit Technologies, collapse into administration.

Traders Comment On Herald-Sun Article

"I don’t even know where to start but here goes
So today a self-serving stallholder thinks he has the right to speak for others in regards to how they feel about the market, yes you are entitled to your opinion but its just that, yours and yours alone. So here’s my view
My family started in the early 70s as a trader at the Queen Victoria Market . My Father was Albanian, my mother Australian and together saw the market as an opportunity to provide a solid start for their family. Market life is not easy, we give up every weekend to work when most are having time with their families, but from my point of view I wouldn’t change a thing. Back in the 70’s my father was the wog that people complained about taking over their country, but without immigrants where would this country be. Every person that is willing to start from nothing and take a risk has that right to try, since when did we decide that the race of a person determines if they are suitable to run a business. A comment in a public forum about the race of a person reflects poorly on the whole market. We need public support not backlash.
As for comments on the tacky Australiana stalls, of which I run one, how dare anybody comment on someone else’s livelihood, do I criticize you and your store. We give the tourist what they want, unfortunately you may think it is tacky, but again your opinion. Our business is successful; therefore clearly what we are doing is working. People are on a budget; from our experience some individuals wont pay more the $10 for their souvenirs. Yes there are people willing to pay more but 90% believe a market is cheap and that is what they are looking for. Australian made stock is not, therefore even when utilized, is not sold.
If you wish to talk about too many of the same stalls well we all know where that started, but hopefully new management is on top of that and things will change. Instead of bitching about all the negatives lets look for the positives, these Sunday markets at the top end of “A “ shed look like a great start, hopefully its something different and will bring in a new batch of locals. Change can’t happen over night but at least it’s a start.
My concern in the future for the market, is why would we go to all the trouble of creating an underground car park which will create no more space that we currently have available. Furthermore how is it going to effect my business going forward."
Drita McLennan

01/04/2014 10:02:52 Explanation Media Article "A couple of things to clarify regarding my comments.
I guess it was to much to ask for the paper to be a little honest and representative of what I spoke about in full.

I had a phone conversation with the gentleman from the sun-herald about 3 to 4 weeks ago. It was not an interview done on thursday. I had a phone call at 8:15am that morning telling me they are going to run an article on friday.
I was not privy of content or direction of article.
People need to realize they have completely misconstrued it, taking the parts they wanted to concentrate on and printed it.The premise, the main point of my argument is, why have management current and past, allowed the situation to get to this point? They are the ones in charge of stall allocation, approvals, and screening.
The sun-herald are very much friends of the current state Government and town hall. I am wondering who called the herald-sun at this point, and who would approve such a stupid lead-in and headline." - Jim Antonopoulos

Friday 28 March 2014

Melbourne TV News On QVM - 28/3/2014

Here is a link to todays Channel 10 news feature on QVM.

Media Invasion At QVM

Media Invasion At QVM

An entity as complex as The Queen Victoria Market deserves more than a quick news grab but inevitably that is what we will be subjected to tonight. Some of the comments in a Herald Sun editorial today are true, some are stretching the truth, and at least one is down right embarrassing.

For those who have somehow been cut off from media this morning this all relates to comments by trader (or more correctly "son of a trader"), Jim Antonopolous. Jim has questioned the influx of cheap items into the market and in an embarrassing error of judgement suggested that one group of traders was particularly responsible for this issue. Without dwelling on a non-issue let's just say this market has been built on the contributions of a wide range of nationalities, particularly since WWII with Polish, Russian, Greek, Italian, Vietnamese, Afghani and other groups adding to the rich fabric of one of the world's great public retail markets.

Now, let's get back to the real issues which are to do with making this market a better place for its customers, traders and owners. The editorial did get one thing right - we don't have to wait for a complete renewal to start making our market a better place. Presumably this is what Jim had in mind when he contacted the Herald Sun.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Traders Comments On Preferred Car Park Option

Thank you to all these contributors - 

25/03/2014 19:21:15 renewal /grouping "we kept on hearing that ""they care what we think"" re the renewal process. "make sure you share your thoughts"" we were told.
If we were to do a straw poll we would find that nearly 100% of people would be against an underground car park, causing major shifts around the place etc, but amazingly ABC shed car park is all we hear about, and look most likely to go ahead. 
Can i also add, i'm actually neither pro or against the car park, it might just work with parklands, I'm just pointing out, no matter what we say,  we have no weight in the outcome, they will do what they want."
There is another possibility for the underground option coming up over recent years. Maybe it is the best option for the market. Construction inconvenience is never going to make it the best short term option for traders but, all things considered, perhaps it is best for the market long term. We also need to  consider that it not just about car parking but also loading bays, cool rooms, and food preparation areas as well. Perhaps we should have a meeting to talk through all the car park options with traders, and more importantly, what  measures are needed to soften the impact if underground is the final option.- Ed

27/03/2014 10:43:58 Underground car park "In your points you mention that the underground car park is quoted at approx $40 million to complete for the same number of spaces.......
Why are we even contemplating building a new car park, that has the same number of spaces? Is this not a waste of time and money, and not to mention the impact to the livelyhoods to all of the market traders. We already have issues with a car park that is not able to cope with the all it is required to do, ie: market office staff, security staff, fruit & veggie trucks, general merchandise traders, box hire staff and the staff of stall holders within the market parking within this car parking using a large portion already. 
We need a larger car park, not one the same size."
Great point - if we are looking to the future, and also removing traders vehicles from selling areas, we are going to need more than our current 700 or so car spots. - Ed

27/03/2014 11:56:45 Multi level car park on current site "It's strange that we can't entertain the thought of a multi-level car park on the current site, based on the fact of ""federation square of the north"" premise. Lets look at things, Franklin street to be converted to apartments Existing Car park site to have Franklin street rerouted through it and park installed Why can't the multi level car park be put over the existing car park, the road be moved to be beneath the car park, and the park be installed on top of the car park. It could be a roof top garden. The car park could be made to look like a building, by enclosing the outer area with windows to stop the look of the car park. This then makes it look nice, and gives the city of Melbourne it's new park, despite a massive park across the road. "
Some more great points. Thanks - Ed.

Have Your Say - click here.

Free City Trams - Good News For Tourists And QVM

The Victorian State Government has announced that tram travel within the CBD, Docklands, and QVM precinct will be free from January 2015. The new provisions will be incorporated in the upcoming state budget and are expected to be endorsed by both political parties.

Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder said the free tram reforms build on the success of the City Circle tram which has become a popular tourist attraction. “Visitors to Melbourne will be able to travel for free on trams within the CBD and Docklands without needing to touch on with their Myki card,” Mr Mulder said. “Many people travel from the country to the city for all sorts of reasons, including to watch the football, cricket or tennis – in fact the Friday night and Saturday night V/Line services to the city are affectionately known as ‘footy trains’. “Visitors to Melbourne can also take free trams to the city’s laneways and bars, theatres, museums, restaurants, Casino, Victoria Market, Melbourne Aquarium or Federation Square.”

It is particularly relevant for QVM traders that our market has been specifically included in the free zone acknowledging our key role as part of the CBD and our standing as one of the city’s premier tourist attractions.

Sunday 23 March 2014

New Sunday Stalls At QVM

The Vintage Shed

The Vintage Shed is described as a group of stall holders with vintage goods and antiques and they are coming to QVM’s A Shed on Sunday 30th March. The Vintage Shed comes from Tyabb Antique Centre on the Mornington Peninsula, dubbed as one of the largest antique centres in Australia.
“Just like The Vintage Shed, we will be mixing the old with the new, our market will have a wide range of antiques, curios, knick knacks, retro pieces, reproductions, hand created and pre loved furniture, clothes, kitchenware, pictures and some lovely new homewares.”

New Craft

A new Sunday craft market has also been announced for the A shed site commencing Sunday April 6th.
“We’re excited to announce Craft is launching a monthly market called NEW CRAFT in A Shed on the first Sunday of every month.
NEW CRAFT @ Queen Victoria Market will be Melbourne’s monthly, curated art and craft market. Featuring only Victorian contemporary handmade works, NEW CRAFT @ Queen Victoria Market will showcase quality craft objects by more than 80 local makers.”

Its great to see new (and old) concepts being promoted to enhance our aisles over on Victoria St.

Latest Retail News – 23/3/2014

Latest Retail News – 23/3/2014

1. David Jones has appointed former Origin Energy chairman, Gordon Cairns, as the department store’s new non executive director and chairman.
2. Fashion powerhouse, H&M, launches Australian website prior to April store opening in Melbourne.
3. Weakness in Australia contributes to McDonalds sales drop in Middle East, Africa, Asia regions.
4. Country Road launches in store concept with Tokyobike. (Yes, a bicycle brand.)
5. Coca-Cola set to launch coinless (NFC) payment on vending machines.
6. Paul Zahra to remain David Jones CEO.
7. Cupcake Bakery chain crumbles into administration.
8. Australia Post to expand rollout of superstore concept.
9. Body Shop withdraws products from Chinese stores following animal testing threat.
10. ANRA says Australian trading laws “archaic”.
11. Ikea opens up in Korea.
12. Women’s fashion and lingerie company, UnderCoverWear, has been placed in administration.
13. US homewares giant Williams-Sonoma, to open more than 100 stores across Australia in the next two years.
14. Ibisworld says Young men interested in fashion but reluctant to shop are embracing online retailers
15. Westfield unveils customers Instagram wall at Brisbane Centre.
16. Chicken retailer, Lenards, to embrace Mexican food craze.
17. David Jones profit falls by $3.5m for 6 months to December despite higher sales.
18. Pumpkin Patch first half profits plunge.
19. Online grocer, Butler & Bentley, says seafood booming.
20. Myers first half profit slides 8%.
21. Metcash issues earnings warning.
22. PayPal introduces pay at the table app for cafes and restaurants.
23. Fossil stores to enter India retail market.
24. Disappointing results from Myer & DJ’s prompts more merger talks.

QVM Renewal Debate Heats Up

Discussion around the placement of the market car park and the impact of construction on trading has fired up some debate around the Queen Victoria Market. And this is perfectly understandable given the impact on people and their businesses. We have picked a few commonly asked questions for scrutiny and we want to stress that the opinions expressed are not intended as substitutes for doing your own due diligence and assessing issues for yourself.

Is this proposed underground car park locked in? – No. As we understand it the underground car park under A, B, and C sheds is one of a number of options being considered by QVM. At this early stage it is their preferred option.
Why is this the QVM preferred option? – We cannot speak for QVM but we do know that placing the car park as close as possible to the trading areas and keeping it on-site (i.e. under QVM control) were important factors.
Is this the best option for traders? – Specialty Traders (general merchandise) asked for alternatives to underground on-site parking because of the disruption to trade during construction. Whether or not the ABC underground option is the best option overall it will impact to some degree on trade and it can be argued that Specialty Traders will be the most inconvenienced.
How will Specialty Traders be inconvenienced? – If the ABC underground option is adopted, a possible option is for traders in those three sheds to be incorporated into the balance of the top end (sheds D to M) with some overflow into perhaps a Queen St. Marquee, H & I sheds, or even the Franklin St. storerooms. Inevitably this will cause restriction to the number and size of stalls available for trading. We do not know any detail at this early stage of concept discussion.
Why aren’t we considering a multi-level carpark on the current car park site? – The current car park is the site of a graveyard and has been allocated to parkland as part of the vision for QVM to become the “Federation Square of the North”.
Won’t an underground car park take the bulk of the $250m renewal package? – We have a credible quotation that places the cost of putting the existing number of car park spaces underground at less than $40m.
When will all this happen? – There are a number of processes to go through. Construction is not anticipated before 2016/17.
What comes next? – We are at the early stages of considering just one renewal component, albeit an important one. Over coming weeks we will need to delve into the detail of the car park option, work out the impact on traders, and what measures are needed to help protect trader’s interests.
What should I do? – Keep yourself informed through your QVMAC Representatives, read this website (Victraders), read Trader Bulletins, checkout the QVM Trader’s Hub, and attend meetings as they are called.

Any more issues you would like traders to consider? We are happy to discuss, criticise, praise, or dissect any aspect of renewal. Simply click on Have Your Say below.

Have Your Say - click here.

27/03/2014 10:43:58 Underground car park "In your points you mention that the underground car park is quoted at approx $40 million to complete for the same number of spaces.......
Why are we even contemplating building a new car park, that has the same number of spaces? Is this not a waste of time and money, and not to mention the impact to the livelyhoods to all of the market traders. We already have issues with a car park that is not able to cope with the all it is required to do, ie: market office staff, security staff, fruit & veggie trucks, general merchandise traders, box hire staff and the staff of stall holders within the market parking within this car parking using a large portion already. 
We need a larger car park, not one the same size."

How Traders Can Survive Tough Times

Retailing is a difficult industry right now and there is plenty of advice out there about how to set up strategies for survival but this advice is different. Rather than come from shopping centre owners (read property developers) or academics or business advisers it comes from traders. 

Here is a list of survival strategies from your QVMAC Representatives. 
1. Establish a strong identity or brand. If you are in a trader category with plenty of competition, find points of difference that will enable you to stand out.
2. Make customer service a high priority and support it with customer loyalty programs. Many traders in the top end see their customers only once or twice a year but encouraging them to come back is still important.
3. Strengthen external, non-QVM, business streams – wholesale, online, other markets.
4. Seek assistance to improve your product offer – that may include advice on overseas sources of supply or different methods of merchandising your products. Trade fairs can be useful sources of information.
5. Carefully select suitable methods of marketing & promotion and utilise QVM’s larger footprint in the various forms of media including, print, online, and social media.
6. Utilise the QVM offers on marketing assistance ($500 per annum), and training courses.

A bit like our turtle in the photo, we are constantly having to find ways to achieve our goals and to combat the hurdles that business throws in front of us. We hope you found something useful in the list above.

Have Your Say – click here.

5 Ways To Request Leave

It is now printed on our rent receipts but did you know that there are 5 ways of applying for leave at QVM.

1. Email to
2. SMS to 0409 110 713
3. Fax to 8677 2552
4. Telephone 9320 5845 and leave a message.
5. Visit the Market Office and fill out a form.

We suggest you use one of those methods before you hop in the hammock.

Yesterday & Today - Paper Boys

As part of our historical series we came across this 1956 photo of a market paper boy and joined it with today's photo of Louis and Fabian. Young Louis bears quite a resemblance to his 1956 counterpart. 

Ask Aunty V

Dear Aunty V - I want to sell my business. Have I picked the worst time with renewal just around the corner ?– Concerned Trader.

Every time has its opportunities Concerned Trader. From a buyers perspective the time is ripe. Prices are low and the prospects of improved trade after renewal can be very tantalising. It is a good time to buy, and that should help selling. - V

Have Your Say - click here.

Aunty V can be contacted from any Have Your Say link on this website. Just use "Ask Aunty V" as your subject.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Trader Comments - 22/3/2014

We have a variety of comments on a variety of subjects. Thank you all for your input.

22/03/2014 12:57:23 Before the car park "Not sure about the age of this photo, but l can remember some of these extra sheds.
I do remember there was both ""N"" and ""O"" sheds. These were removed to increase the car park spaces, prior to the roof being placed over what was called the ""Open Roadway"" now known as ""J"" shed. This is going back some 30 years ago.
The difference is, we had a lot more customers in our aisles back then. It was shoulder to shoulder and you did the shuffle as you walked down each aisle." Lance

In response to this article - 
22/03/2014 09:48:30 Car park "The 'management' are totally controlling the future of QVM by way of a car parking problem.You ( the mgt) MUST send out by STAMPED MAIL to each & every stall holder of your intentions.NOW! As you are now talking of the 2nd stage.! A third of the traders are not of English speaking backgrounds and there families livelihoods here." Rosalie
Thanks for the input Rosalie. Although we are about to enter the second stage this is still just consultation. This is discussion time to help formulate ideas before they are put on the table. The opportunity for traders to participate are many and varied but sitting back and waiting for a letter is probably not the best option. If more traders took your lead and actively engaged with forums like this website we would all be better off. Am I trying to drum up business? - You bet! - Ed

In response to this article - 
22/03/2014 13:08:26 Age Article "Would the $20.50 they are referring to be the actual rent of a Tuesday single store, plus GST of course. The boxes, tables, and any other expenses are all additional costs. The basic single stall rent is only $20.50." Lance
That is correct Lance. $20.50 is for a single stall on a Tuesday. We estimate the average cost of rent, box-hire, and table hire for Specialty Traders (general merchandise) is $600.00 per week for a standard holding (two single stalls) over 5 days. - Ed.

In response to this article -
22/03/2014 13:55:42 Like for like traders near each other "Having been walking around a number of shopping centres lately, I thought l would look into the comments of like stores near each other. Yes clothing, phone and food stores are near each other, but when you look deeper, the majority of other styles of stores are not. You do not find the following stores near each other: Jewellery (Zamels, Micheal Hill) Lingerie ( cotton on, bras n things) Shoes (sportsco, athletes foot) You will also not find a Target next to a Big W or Kmart, just like you won't find a Dick Smith next to a Tandy store. The problem with our repetition is just that repetition. Unlike our shopping centre counterparts, the majority of us dont have our own brand names to distinguish ourselves from the competition. We all use the same suppliers as we are all small businesses and do not have multiple stores in every state to generally make purchasing direct from the manufacturer viable (not saying some people in QVM do not do this already). It comes down to traders not copying each other with product lines. A large number of traders see another trader selling an item well, and they race out to the suppliers and buy that item, instead of looking to distinguish themselves from the opposition, they want to be the same. Yes you are never going to be able to have a stall that does not contain the same items as someone else selling your product, but make it the minimal amount of products not the majority. "

In response to this article -
23/03/2014 08:33:52 Central market "The broader view of customers is that the last 6 months of the central market has never been better, the vibe is better, the markets looking better. I don't know about the politics but the experience is good."
23/03/2014 09:09:37 Adelaide Central Market "For clarification, the current CEO's name is Claude Baxter, and all board members have resigned, including the chairperson." D
Thank you D. Our apologies for getting Mr Baxter's name wrong - Ed.

 Have Your Say - click here.

Friday 21 March 2014

Renewal Car Park Options Discussed

At a meeting of traders and management on Tuesday afternoon a preferred option for the QVM car park was discussed which could have significant implications for trader operations.

Approximately 20 Specialty Merchandise traders attended a meeting at the first floor meeting room, cnr Queen & Franklin Sts. The meeting was addressed by CEO, Jan Cochrane-Harry and Fiona Whitworth from CoM.

The current preferred option from QVM is for an underground car park under A, B, and C sheds. This option meets a number of management aims. Firstly it allows the current car park to keep operating and meets the commitment given to traders for uninterrupted customer parking. Secondly it keeps parking as near as possible to the actual trading areas of the market in contrast to some of the other off-site options. Thirdly it keeps car parking on-site and under the control of QVM.

Much discussion took place about the option including an alternative car park arrangement presented by trader, John Magno, which involved a car park under the Franklin St. triangle and a separate underground facility for unloading and services under Queen St. It was considered that the Queen St. option had merit.

If the A, B, C shed option is adopted it will involve a lengthy construction period and disruption to traders. It is anticipated that traders displaced by construction works would still be accommodated in the top end with possible additions like marquees on Queen St. Obviously there would still be compromises to fit everybody in. Much needs to be considered and discussed if this is to be a viable option for all parties.

We are about to enter stage 2 of the renewal consultation phase and we can expect car parking and construction impacts to be high on the agenda. If traders have not already engaged in this process we suggest they prepare to engage in the next stage. These are very important issues that will impact on how we do business at QVM.

Misleading Message

Our correspondent says that Australia Post stamp designs may not always convey the intended sentiment.

Friday 14 March 2014

Giving New Traders A Fair Go

The Oxford Dictionary defines a bully as “A person who uses strength or influence to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” Sadly we have instances of bullying in our own Queen Victoria Market and it is often inflicted on casual stall holders.

Recent analysis of the trading conditions for casual traders identified a number of instances of bullying. Bullying is usually related to the competitive pressures within our market. An established trader may be upset at the placement of a casual trader perceived as competition or perhaps at the impact of the new trader’s stall setup. We are often not great at adjusting to change.

Many of our disputes within the market are settled with amicable discussion. It is a credit to traders generally that despite our close confines, the fact that we are competing with each other for business, and despite all our religious and cultural differences, we generally get on together very well. This makes it even more difficult to understand why some established traders take advantage of new traders and make their life difficult.

There are a few points to make here. Firstly bullying is totally unacceptable. There are rules and procedures related to bullying in the schoolyard and in the workplace. Secondly, if a trader has problems with a casual stallholder placement, it is a market official, not the casual trader, who should be questioned.  And thirdly any trader who is aware of bullying should ask the offender to stop – peer pressure can often diffuse unsavoury behaviour.

Casual stall holders are a very important part of our market. They are potentially our future but to get there they have to endure uncertainty and frustration as they navigate the casual allocation system. Let’s give our casual traders a fair go. They may be the magnet that drags more customers to our market.

Westfield Distances Itself From Australian Retailing

In an interesting move the Westfield Group is planning to split its Domestic Australian shopping centre business from its international interests.

According to Bloomberg, “Westfield Group, which is increasing its focus on higher-return activities including development, is distancing itself from Australia and New Zealand, where it expects to see the slowest growth this year. The Sydney-based company spun off half of its Australian and New Zealand malls into Westfield Retail Trust in 2010, and billionaire co-founder Frank Lowy and his family sold their 7.1 percent stake in the trust in February.”

Westfield is seen to get much better returns from overseas with specialty rent increase of 3.8% in US and 2.7% in UK compared with only 1.8% in Australia. Westfield have invested heavily in the giant theme park like centres overseas which seem to have greater potential than Australia’s humble shopping centres.

In a particularly critical article this week the Sydney Morning Herald blamed part of the retail rip-off in Australia on the high domestic rents charged by Westfield. 

Young Entrepreneurs Learn at Market

Pontefract Market in the UK trades 6 days per week and they recently introduced an “incubation” arrangement for local college students looking to test their creative design and business skills in the real world.

The students from Wakefield College spent a month creating a number of handmade products including bird boxes, wine bottle holders, occasion cards, and scented candles. They had to come up with a business plan for their stall and were able to test the often harsh world of customer reaction to retail goods.

This strikes us as a great idea to help fulfil QVM’s role as business incubator and hopefully of interest to Melbourne’s near city colleges with their presumably large supply of budding entrepreneurs.

Have Your Say – click here.

17/03/2014 15:02:46 Young Entrepreneurs Learn at Market "Hey that's a great idea, especially at this time of the year when we get a large influx of local students coming in and looking for work.  However, making products?  Not sure about that.  Doing an apprenticeship scheme of some sort - great!" Jodi

Shopper Carries Gun

This is just a selection from some very clever ideas to stimulate shoppers and maximise the advertising potential of the humble carry bag.

Thanks to Bob Andrewartha via John Magno for the links.

Adelaide Market In Turmoil

Adelaide’s famous city market has had 3 CEO’s in less than two years and 2 of its 5 Board members have recently resigned. A recent stoush between The Adelaide City Market Board and its new CEO Claude Baxter, has resulted in the CEO taking a leave of absence.
Baxter has a track record in rejuvenating the South Melbourne Market and creating a broader product mix while introducing new concepts like bars to attract a younger demographic.
Adelaide’s Central market recently moved away from direct council control and was applauded for establishing its independence but obviously it has suffered teething problems.
The problems experienced by Adelaide Market are not new to many markets around the world and the answers to these problems just as difficult to find. The author of an article in Adelaide’s Advertiser listed three key areas of concern –
Infrastructure – compared with European Markets, Adelaide is dark and “a bit grotty”.
Stall Mix – food obsessed countries overseas focus on specialised produce rather multiple stalls selling the same selection.
Operating Hours – Regular overseas markets operate 6 days and don’t have the confusing variations in operating hours found at Adelaide.

Recent calls for the council to take back control of the market have been criticised by trader representatives who view the move to independant control as the correct move. Traders are currently considering opening on Sundays and extending midweek hours to engage with city workers.

Have Your Say – click here.

17/03/2014 15:06:01 Adelaide Market In Turmoil "Adelaide market is great, and much cleaner than Melbourne."

23/03/2014 08:33:52 Central market "The broader view of customers is that the last 6 months of the central market has never been better, the vibe is better, the markets looking better. I don't know about the politics but the experience is good."
23/03/2014 09:09:37 Adelaide Central Market "For clarification, the current CEO's name is Claude Baxter, and all board members have resigned, including the chairperson." D

Thank you D. Our apologies for getting Mr Baxter's name wrong (now corrected).- Ed.

Trader Has To Buy From Own Market

The title sounds a little over bearing and in fact it was the owners of Elliot's Cafe in London's famous Borough Market that proposed they would only sell produce from the market.

They saw their cafe as the perfect opportunity to highlight the wonderful fresh food at Borough Market with a swag of artisan food producers and a quality and variety not found elsewhere.

The lease of Elliot's Cafe actually states that they must buy the majority of their ingredients from the market around them and we think QVM could learn from the concept. In fact QVMAC Representative and fishmonger, George Milonas, has proposed this very idea for the food sold at our food festivals in Queen St.

QVM is one of the best sources of fresh food in the world so why not highlight the transition from fresh food to  ready to eat food right here on our doorstep?