Friday 27 June 2014

Stop Souvenir Bashing at QVM

Today's Herald Sun has a report on "junky Australian souvenirs" at QVM as it reports on results from the latest round of consultation. Capire conducted a number of community consultation interviews in April and May including a focus on trader views from the temporary F shed office.

"“Participants expressed concern that the general merchandise section had evolved into a place that predominantly sells tourist souvenirs ... some stallholders ... have become too tourist and junky,” said the report by consultants Capire."

We have posted many times on this website about the anomalies surrounding attitudes to souvenir selling at QVM. The point is that one persons junk is another persons treasure. Our souvenir category is incredibly robust and offers a very wide choice to consumers. In fact, let's go further and say that nowhere else in Melbourne can you see such a rich offer. The range is incredible - genuine Aboriginal craft from places like Koorie Connections on Victoria St. through to Australian motif T-shirts at ridiculously affordable prices from a variety of outlets. And how many Australians and international tourists could access and afford that iconic aboriginal instrument, the didgeridoo, if it wasn't for QVM.

It is true that most of the visitors to QVM don't see the relevance of all the souvenir stalls but that is because most of them are locals who travel internationally only rarely. International tourists believe our tourist category is incredibly relevant and they give it strong support. And when it comes to cheapness, let me ask you a question. What did you purchase for family members on your last trip overseas? Was it a Donald Duck T-shirt in L.A. or a Harrods apron in London? Most souvenirs sold around the world are not expensive. They are relevant for where they are purchased and, particularly if you have a large family, cost is an important factor.

So let's stop the souvenir bashing at QVM. If any souvenir outlets need criticism it is the incredibly over-priced rip-off outlets around Melbourne that are served by tourist buses getting a piece of the action for themselves. Australian residents and international tourists would do well to embrace the variety and price competitiveness at QVM.

Have Your Say - click here.

27/06/2014 11:04:13 Respond to Herald Sun "I just wonder, who let those shops to be trade in this place? Was it the management? "

27/06/2014 11:06:37 souvenir bashing "In a 40 page report the Herald Sun has only been able to report same old same old, I as one of the tacky souvenir stall owner who's famiy has been selling souvenirs at the Queen Victoria Market since the early 70s, is sick to death of hearing whining from people who don't shop at the market or travel complain about our offering. The amount of customers we have returning to us year after year is amazing. Lets take a look at any Westfield shopping centre, how many coffee shops or Jewellery stores does one shopping centre need, I don't here anyone complaining about them. There are lots of reasons why stalls have been duplicated, lets look at the previous management teams. Lets face it People Mr Doyle doesnt care about us, only his road to that dead horse called The Docklands."

27/06/2014 14:53:50 Market (Junk) "There are 1500  at least stalls in the Queen Victoria Market How many sell junk????   no one is forced to shop in QVM   It is a market after all people shop in markets for bargains not available elsewhere   most customers we talk to from interstate and overseas love the market there is nothing like it anywhere else in  Australia  it is a shame locals do not appreciate the market they have in their city These reports are printed to speed along the process for those with other motives which they claim is in the name of progress but  its all about the mighty$$$$ in the end" JR   E shed

27/06/2014 19:14:41 Stop Souvenir Bashing at QVM "This is not a very good article at all.
There is a very big point that has been missed here, and that is the fact that over the last 15 to 20 years the main target audience for the market advertising has been the tourist dollar, and mainly the international tourists at that. So given this is where we are advertising, is it not relevant that we have a supply of the product that these tourists would be looking for. You can't ask for tourists and then not supply them souvenirs to buy. 
Previous management is to blame for the number of stalls within the market  selling souvenirs, but hey, there is also enough of a tourist market for them to all survive, so that must be saying something about the amount of people that shop with these stalls.
Why is that the CoM can only focus on one thing about the market - to them its the cheap tacky souvenirs.
What would be the outcome of they were to say focus on the Fruit & Veges that l am constantly hearing from customers are on the downward trend and generally no longer constitute fresh from a number of the stalls. I would hear on a daily basis, customers say they will no longer purchase fruit and veges at this market, as they are not up to standards of other places. I don't hear the CoM bashing this issue - just the poor souvenir stall holders - yet again.
Keep your chin up guys, and keep on selling, and making a living while you can." Lance

28/06/2014 18:53:59 news paper article "Disappointed to read yet another negative newspaper article about the Market. It would be a refreshing change to have Management come out with a counter article high lighting some positive aspects of the Market & merchandise mix. The old saying ""if you throw enough mud eventually some will stick"". To much negative press will give customers another reason to not shop here."

29/06/2014 Posted on facebook - "It would be really nice if management actually came out and showed support for Stall-holders instead of sitting back and just letting people make comments on things they don't understand. There are many stall in Queen Victoria Market that sell upmarket goods but no-one focus on that. Maybe be the marketing department can actually come out and start supporting the stall holders instead of being nowhere to be seen. Lets start highlighting the great stall we do have, of which there are many." Drita