Sunday 29 June 2014

A Traders Redevelopment Idea - Thinking Inside The Box

"Here we go, another idea out of my brain, and yes that tells you that business must be a little slow, if this is how I can spend my time. Thinking of ideas for this great market of ours.

I know this idea will get a lot of people off side, especially those that believe the market does not need any changes - “we just need better advertising”, and “it’s all the marketing departments fault for not getting us customers”.

Let’s face it, with today’s life styles, people are time poor, and traveling to our great market, is not something that is appealing to a lot of people these days. They have to contend with Melbourne’s fantastic weather, parking, toll-ways, rising fuel costs and a number of other issues. Customers can now shop online – sadly a lot of the time its cheaper than we are – they can go to any number of new shopping centers that are appearing in every 2nd or 3rd new estate that gets built, so they don’t have to travel far, and shops prices are very close to ours, and sometimes dare I say it, they are better.

What if we did something very radical, something outside the box, well, actually it would be
inside a box. For those of you who know me, you will know that I am not in favor of lock up areas, cages for a better word, for our stalls, and I have openly stated this time and time again, but what if we took a leaf out of another part of the world, and turned our great market into something new, hip and really funky, and made it an attraction to not only tourists, but locals as well, to come and see.

Several years ago, Christchurch, NZ was hit by several earthquakes, and the city rallied together, and to assist the local businesses, they created the “CONTAINER CITY MALL”. Yes that’s right I said container, and yes I’m suggesting something along these lines for us. But not in the form of our current containers, but along the lines of the Christchurch set up. It would give us a new edge, something to draw attention to our great market, become something that people want to see. I visited Christchurch a few months after the container mall opened, and it was the first thing I wanted to see, and its because it was different, it was a great place, and l was truly inspired by what had been achieved. As a sign of how great this is, Starbucks in the USA, has opened up a number of new stores based on the principles used.

This could be done in several methods:
Permanent lock up container: Stall holder sets up once, and that’s it, just like a shop.
Casual container: Stall holder set ups each day, can be allocated to different traders each day
Single story or double story containers
Extra large or smaller versions
Containers with an alfresco area out the front

 The great thing about this is, that it could be started, before the car park construction starts,
and give us a chance to attract more customers during this period, and also assist us traders in a plan of action during the construction works. A two story container, could easily fit a stall that currently occupies 4 stalls, but only take the space of a double. This could give us the chance to not think about reduction in size of stalls, but make an effort to adjust and adapt.

There are a huge amount of benefits, and drawbacks to any possible solution, but we need to look at all options.

No matter what, we will all need to adapt and change, if we want to survive into the future, and keep our businesses successful.

If you have not seen the Christchurch Container City Mall, you should check it out. Here is the link: "


30/06/2014 10:00:37 Redevelopment Containers       "I want one."  

30/06/2014 14:08:53 Container Idea "What a concept this is. Would it work, who knows. Perhaps if it was done in the right way, then it could be a huge attraction, and really help to bring people back to the market, even if only for a the lets have a look factor, but hey once at the market, we maybe able to pry some of those hard earned dollars from their wallets.
Maybe the management could ask for volunteers to be a part of this idea, and with a little bit of incentive towards a rent free period, or even better still, an offer to fit out the container (within a set budget of course - above that the stall holder has to pay - but you would need to have a good size fit out cost - lets say $10,000 before the stall holder pays) they might be able to get a few takers.
I might be interested, if the location is thought about, fit out included and l could keep my permeant stalls, but put them on a leave of absence during the trial period so that if at the end, l was not happy l could leave the container and return to my stalls, without the prospect of losing them."