Thursday 31 July 2014

What Could A Traders Association Do For Traders?

At a mass meeting of traders back in May it was decided to promote the formation of an official traders association and to establish a subscription model that would allow traders to employ a professional manager to handle their affairs.

Much of the impetus for this arrangement came from a study of international markets and the ways in which traders organised themselves. Global Market Expert, David O’Neil, talked about professional trader bodies that employed their own staff, negotiated deals with market managements, signed contracts, and got involved in a range of services designed to assist market development.

At QVM, traders see many advantages in a professionally organised association with a professional executive to 
- Give guidance to traders,
- handle discussions and negotiations with market management, 
- examine latest developments in retail, 
- have an understanding of leasing and licensing arrangements, and 
- seek advice on legal or town planning issues.

Traders are currently well served by volunteer representatives but, as a lengthy renewal process starts up, we can see the merits of a focussed, experienced, retail and administrative specialist to conduct our affairs under the guidance of a Trader Committee of Management.

The services offered by an association could include special negotiated deals on 
- Banking and EFTPOS services.
- Product delivery services.
- Stationary supplies.
- Special marketing opportunities.
One of our traders commented recently that if management is so reluctant to facilitate bus tours and shuttle buses to bring us customers, perhaps traders could do it themselves.

These are all possibilities, but our first step is to populate the membership of the traders association and many traders have already signed up. If you haven’t signed up yet you can download an application from the link below and hand it to your trader representative. 

QVMTI Application Form

Have Your Say – click here.

Is QVM Funding At Risk?

It was reported in Wednesday’s Herald Sun that funding destined for the QVM renewal has been diverted to refunding MCC parking fines and so we asked some questions.

The Melbourne City Council has been forced to refund more than $3.2m in parking fines because of an administrative error. It turns out that Council staff who issued infringements over a two year period were not technically authorised to do so. The un-budgeted expense (the refunds) will come from the Councils operating surplus and this is where QVM comes in.

The Melbourne City Council had decided to distribute any surplus from its operations to the QVM Renewal project. Essentially, what is left over at the end of the year goes to QVM funding. The $3.2m could have gone to the QVM project but now it won’t. According to the Lord Mayor, the surplus is a component of the overall funding but not a specific budgeted item, so it will not impact on the project.

Hopefully, that all makes sense. It is a bit like saving up for a holiday at the end of the year and then finding the kids need expensive dental work - not good either way.

POSTSCRIPT: - Our CEO has confirmed that this year’s expenditure plans won’t be adversely affected in any way and the CoM has released the following statement in relation to QVM funding - 

"In May 2014, Melbourne City Council committed to putting any underlying surplus from 2013-14 into a Queen Victoria Market Renewal Fund. This week, Council also voted unanimously to establish a trust to manage these funds. By establishing a trust Council has ensured this money is quarantined from other Council accounts. It is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the market renewal.

You may have seen media reports this week indicating that the City of Melbourne has decided to refund and withdraw a large number of parking fines due to an administrative error. Some media reported that the $3.2 million it will cost Council to refund and withdraw the parking fines was money that was expected to be invested in the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Fund. While this is correct, it does not in any way impact upon the longer term vision for and commitment to the renewal of the market.

Factoring in the $3.2 million cost to refund and withdraw the 34,800 parking infringements, the revised estimated underlying surplus for 2013-14 is $1.2 million. The $1.2 million will be invested in the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Fund.

While City of Melbourne will not be able to make the contribution to the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Fund it had hoped this financial year, it is important to remember that this is the first year of a long-term project to which the City of Melbourne is completely committed.

The renewal of the market remains a key Council priority. Despite the budget impact of this administrative error, the City of Melbourne remains in a strong financial position and is committed to progressing the renewal project without delay. This includes the release of a draft master plan by year’s end."

Have Your Say – click here.

Sunday 27 July 2014

Condoman At Night Market

QVM's link-up with the World AIDS Conference brought a couple of unusual sights to the Luna Night Market this week. By all accounts it was another good crowd at the Wednesday night winter market.

Latest Retail News – 27/7/2014

Latest Retail News – 27/7/2014

1. Senator Xenophon to launch national enquiry into retail leasing.
2. Chinese equity firm buys Pizza Express.
3. Coles starts up new financial services division.
4. Regulator tells Woolworths to stop calling itself a bank.
5. Priceline awarded ARA Retailer Of The Year Award 2014.
6. Burberry reports high demand out of China.
7. UK sports brand, Sports Direct, to open 3 stores in Australia.
8. The Winning Group, Dick Smith and Catch of the Day have been nominated in the 2014 World Retail Awards.
9. Coles expands its Mix clothing range in supermarkets.
10. Apple to accept trade-ins on its products. 
11. G-Star Raw opens in India.
12. US retail sales up slightly in June.
13. Visa sets up new online payment service to rival PayPal.
14. Federal Court approves sale of DJ’s to South Africa’s Woolworths.
15. Carbon tax price reductions will be scrutinised by ACCC.
16. 8000 counterfeit cosmetics seized in Sydney raid.
17. AMP unveils new fresh food market concept at its Macquarie Centre re-development.
18. CEO of Britain’s troubled supermarket giant, Tesco, leaves.
19. Marks & Spencer to enter Vietnam.
20. Scotch whisky company, Ballantines, to launch fresh food bar that supplies ingredients for cocktails.
21. Kogan moves into Sports & Fitness category.
22. Kresta Blinds has Chinese takeover offer.
23. McDonalds profit misses expectations in 2nd Quarter.
24. Topshop opens 2nd store in Hong Kong.
25. Australian bag brand, Crumpler, expands presence in Asia.
26. Fosters blames Federal Budget for sharp drop in Australian beer sales.

Traders 3 Key Points To Management and Board

At a recent Queen Victoria Market Advisory Committee meeting trader representatives submitted 3 key points for consideration.

Measuring Retail Performance at QVM - there are many measures of performance at QVM but we do not measure sales turnover of traders. Sales turnover is an essential indicator of the market's health. Identifying long term trends in sales will enable us to react to changes in consumer behaviour long before they become defining events. Short term we could gain very valuable information on things like the impact of special promotions or major city events.
In shopping centres, each retailer submits monthly sales figures to management as part of their lease obligations. That doesn't apply at QVM and finding an acceptable method of tracking sales performance without compromising confidentiality is now a focus for the QVMAC.

Creating A Vision For QVM - an official vision is an important part of moving forward for any organisation. it would appear that any official vision statement for QVM over recent decades has been kept in-house and not shared with traders. At the same time as representatives were preparing a request for the formalising of a market vision, our CEO was preparing such a vision as part of a comprehensive Business Plan which has now been released and is available for download (see following article).

Weather Protection - our market is open air and that is a wonderful point of difference over sanitised shopping malls. However, the cost and inconvenience of extreme weather conditions is rightfully an issue at QVM. Inconvenience to customers, damage to stock, and the impact on sales are all issues that require attention. The roofing of areas like F shed and the waiting areas around the Queen St. ATMs have long been on the drawing boards and, as we consider projects for renewal, weather protection will become a focus for the QVMAC.

QVMAC – The Queen Victoria Market Advisory Committee is comprised of 10 elected representatives of traders plus members of QVM Management. It meets at regular intervals along with representatives of the QVM Board to consider and advise on market issues.

QVM Business Plan – 5 Key Elements

The recently released QVM Business Plan is a comprehensive document and we will be looking at it more closely over coming weeks but here are 5 elements that caught our attention.

1. A New Focus For QVM Management – the following quote from the CEO’s preamble identifies a new focus. “Another theme is to assist traders to consider how they might evolve their product offering and presentation to keep pace with the city wide dynamic retail business environment within which they now operate. The realities of the competitive environment cannot be ignored by traders or management. This is a new role for the management of QVM, which has historically kept to the narrower focus of landlord. In this context the organisation is also going through a significant cultural change process.”
2. The 10 Keys According To David O’Neil – The Business Plan draws on global market expert, David O’Neil’s, advice on how to make our market great. O’Neil’s expertise is well respected. The catch cry “We are not a shopping centre” is clearly addressed by his focus on what makes markets so different and so special.
3. Expensive Advertising Is Not The Answer – some traders believe that we just need to throw more money at marketing, particularly advertising, but the Business Plan warns against overspending on expensive advertising.
4. The Elephant In The Room – Reviewing Licenses And Compliance Provisions – we are not yet sure what this might involve although the plan does include a review of the “points system” for stall allocations. QVMAC Representative, Jenny Pyke, asked for elaboration at the mass meeting of Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) a couple of weeks ago but as yet we have no detail. We shouldn't assume that there won't be areas of agreement here, but without transparency that is difficult to confirm.
5. Sustainability – this is a key focus of the Business Plan and it is important to note that we are not just talking about environmental sustainability but also economic sustainability which encompasses financial success for traders. All traders will welcome that sentiment.

There is a lot of positive content in the Business Plan and traders are urged to take a read at the following link -

Have Your Say – click here.

Friday 25 July 2014

A Smelly Problem Receives Attention

Further to our recent post on a smell in String Bean Alley ( we are pleased to report that remedial works have been completed as our photo shows.
Affected traders and cleaning staff will no doubt have their fingers crossed that this fixes the problem.

Car Park Vouchers Go To Tradies Not Traders

Discounted all-day parking vouchers are issued from the QVM car park booth on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Instead of the usual $25 or so the fee becomes $16 but the vouchers are going to tradies on nearby building sites before traders can take advantage of the discounted parking fee.

Now the car park is essentially for customers but traders who are required to use their vehicles for the unloading and loading of stock could rightfully expect to get preference over outsiders – in this case the large number of tradies who park at QVM before their early morning start on building sites around the market.

The problem is that tradies get in first and on most days all the allocated vouchers have disappeared by 7:00am leaving many unhappy traders having to find parking further afield. Interestingly, the Kim Lim car park in A’Beckett St. charges only $12 for early bird parking (in before 10am, out after 3pm) so tradies do have cost effective alternatives.

QVMAC Representatives have asked management to review the car park arrangement so that traders can better utilise an important component of their business activities. We understand that new arrangements will be announced shortly.

27/07/2014 22:35:22 Car parking "One idea that may help would be that the traders supply the car park staff with their trade number in order to receive a parking voucher .A notice board informing everyone of a commencement date of this new system will let people know in advance and could reduce possible confrontations." Steve mc

28/07/2014 08:37:07 Car Park Vouchers "Traders should also utilise the surrounding car parks. Most of the traders who park in the car park do so for convenience, nothing more. They are not loading and unloading throughout the day. They have driven to the market, unloaded their vehicles and then park in our car park, and at the end of the day they leave, its not a case of constantly going to their cars to get stock, and if they are, they should look at ways to have the stock on their stalls, to provide a better shopping experience for our customers. A lot of these same traders who park in our car park, are also the sames ones that complain their is not enough parking for customers. I say NO more voucher parking on MARKET days............ this will free up a lot of spaces for customers of the QVM, not TRADIES or TRADERS to park."

Sunday 20 July 2014

QVM Supports AIDS Conference

The World AIDS Conference kicks off in Melbourne today with a 6 day program including addresses from President Bill Clinton and Sir Bob Geldof.

This is the largest conference ever held in Melbourne with over 16,000 visitors and QVM has contributed its support including the iconic Meat & Fish Hall entrance on Elizabeth St. and the Pallet Tree on Peel St. being lit up in red for the duration of the conference.

This weekend as part of the AIDS 2014 Youth Pre Conference YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS) with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation will be delivering a Street Art project mural on the Queen St. amenities block opposite Market Espresso. The mural will be a stylised graffiti piece, depicting images and messages reflecting the legacy of young people from all over the world attending AIDS 2014. Fred Fowler and Michael Fikaris, renowned Melbourne street artists will work with 30 YEAH representatives to design and paint the mural.

Traders Donating To Red Cross

QVM are organising a link up with Red Cross that would enable traders to donate goods to this worthy cause.
The idea is that a pop-up shop would operate at QVM as a collection point for spare stock – last-of’s, seconds, samples, etc.- in exchange for a tax deductible receipt. This would seem to be a great opportunity to help out the millions of people who receive Red Cross assistance as well as clear unwanted stock and receive a tax deduction for the write-off.

The first collection day is scheduled for 22nd August and will be advertised around the market before the due date. Put a note in your diary now.

QVM Business Plan Available To Traders Online

Traders can now access the QVM Business Plan for 2014/15 online by clicking on the following link -

Hard copies of the plan are available from the QVM office.

Editorial: QVM’s Business Plan Is One Of The Most Significant Documents of Recent Decades.

Editorial: QVM’s Business Plan Is One Of The Most Significant Documents of Recent Decades.

Wednesday's meeting of Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) was presented with the QVM’s Business Plan for 2014/15. This is a comprehensive document which has two very significant aspects. Firstly, the fact that it has actually been revealed to traders is important. Over recent decades traders have not been privy to the visions and goals of QVM. But here we have a document that has been presented in its entirety (copies were distributed after the meeting) and gives a revealing insight into QVM thinking.

During her presentation, CEO Jan Cochrane-Harry talked about the process of “adapting” the market for the future rather than making major changes. It is obvious that many components of the plan will require a lot of work before their application becomes clear. It is equally obvious that traders will need to have significant input.

And this brings us to the other significant aspect of this document – it has been written for QVM Pty. Ltd. but it has the potential to guide all participants at QVM including traders. The future of QVM, and the imposition of a renewal, makes for a confusing array of options. Any document that brings clarity is most welcome. This document attempts to set the parameters for discussion and action, raises questions, answers some of them, and gives us a structure for considered analysis.

There are a number of aspects of the Business Plan that will require scrutiny by traders particularly things like the review of licences. However, the smattering of applause at the conclusion of the presentation would suggest there are broad areas of unity. This is a leadership document for QVM Pty. Ltd. If the majority of its components can be embraced by traders as well, it could become really useful.

NOTE: The complete Business Plan can now be viewed online by going to this link -

Have Your Say – click here.

Is This The Answer For Freezing Days At QVM?

We embrace our “open air” status at The Queen Victoria Market, but there are times when the extreme weather variations make life very difficult, and trader John Magno may have the answer for cold wintry days.

The portable heater shown in our photos was purchased at Masters and runs on canned gas. It kicks out a surprising amount of heat and each can lasts around 2 hours and 10 minutes. That might not sound very long, but the cans cost under $5 for 4 cans. Pick up a heater for around $50 or perhaps visit John’s stall on a regular basis on really cold days.

Have Your Say – click here. 

POSTSCRIPT: Apparently Masters have new stock of these heaters but at $99 each. Our correspondent complained about the huge price increase and was offered stock at the old price. If that doesn't work for you, keep in mind that Aldi had a similar item recently for $59.

How Our Car Park Might Look Without The Cars.

Under the banner “Making a great market even better” a group of students from Melbourne University’s Bachelor of Environment course recently completed a Landscape Studio based on The Queen Victoria Market.

Using the maxim “First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works” students were invited to propose designs for our car park area incorporating the protection of QVM’s heritage with the reality of an increasing population living around the market.

The resulting 9 design propositions have been put on display at the National Trust Gallery in the city (4 Parliament Pl. East Melbourne) and represent an intriguing variety of ideas on how our car park could be transformed to a relevant urban landscape. Variations included a simple park-like concept designed to provide a resting point and an observation post for the nearby bustling market, to a combined park and retail design enhancing the “Slow Food” movement, and a proposal for a tram “Super Stop” to link “QVM Plaza” with surrounding CBD locations.

Of course the big picture for traders involves where an alternative car park would be located and it is fair to say that our Lord Mayor and State Premier's enthusiasm for a green park never did get universal acceptance from traders concerned about the commercial realities of business at QVM. But if you are interested in how the current asphalt desert might look with professional urban landscaping, this exhibition is worth a look. The exhibition is on at 4 Parliament Pl. East Melbourne (just off Spring St.) and is open Monday to Friday.

Have Your Say – click here.
22/07/2014 10:51:33 Car Park without cars "These look good, (not that it suits the market, to have no car park) but the only problem l see is that it does not incorporate the new road right through the middle of the car park. Should this have not been included in this exercise?"

Sunday 13 July 2014

Meeting of GM Traders - New Business Plan

On Wednesday 16th July a meeting of Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) will be held at QVM to discuss the market's new Business Plan for 2014/15.

The plan includes reference to -
            . Vision
            . Mission
            . Goals
            . Strengths
            . Weaknesses
            . Opportunities
            . Threats

The presentation by CEO Jan Cochrane-Harry will involve discussion and questioning of the market's proposed direction and is open to all Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) from sheds C, D, E, F, J, K, L, and M.

WHEN : Wednesday 16th July.
WHERE: Food Court at QVM.

TIME: 11:00am - 12:30pm

Trader Questions Rental Philosophy

This trader submission goes to the heart of the current rents debate in the Deli Hall but has wider implications. It raises questions about the role of a Public Market and addresses some important principles as we move forward into renewal. Every trader should read the content.

"I understand the Board of the Queen Victoria Market and MCC will be discussing policy on rental at QVM.
Deciding the bases for rent goes to a fundamental ideological decision about the future of the market: On the one hand one can take the view that rental should be based on what can feasibly be obtained for the property and anything less is simply a business subsidy. This approach reflects the perspective that the only legitimate measure of the success of the market is the revenue raised for council.
On the other hand, one can decide that Melbourne deserves a vibrant, interesting and affordable market and if that requires reduced or reasonable rent it can be justified as a direct investment in the health and well being of the people.
If the board chooses the path of maximum rental that money disappears into council revenue. Eventually only businesses of a certain size and income will be able to afford space at the market. The size of the tenancies, even with the best of management, limit what can be achieved. To service a larger rent, businesses will have to be of a larger scale have multiple outlets. This will make it harder to find owner-occupiers and eventually result in the mall izationof the market. If rents skyrocket, something will have to be sacrificed. Will it be staff our biggest expense? Will it be product quality? Will it be low prices? Will it be our ability to sell a wide variety of merchandise, including products that are not easily obtained elsewhere, restricting our investment to ideas with a proven track record? That doesnt sound like a market.
We market traders have made a conscious decision to do what we do, be where we are. We are not in the market because that was all we could come up with. We are in the market because small business is what we love. We dont want to grow to the point where our customers are strangers and our staff managed by HR. That would be a huge detriment to the popularity of the market. A lot of lip service is paid to the iconic nature of the QVM, but that nature is us, the traders. We are the local colourfeatured on Facebook and Instagram pages the world over. We are the businesses who call our customers friends, just as communities have for centuries. If high rent forces a change in business ethos at the market then that change will be reflected in declining patronage and a loss of enthusiasm for the market from, customers, investors, media, business, everyone.
Large cities are really just a collection of villages. The QVM is our market square and has multiple functions. Primarily, it should be a source of affordable, fresh food for the people of Melbourne. That is the traditional function of markets the world over. Most food markets (not malls and shopping centres) offer reasonable rent in the expectation that those savings will be passed on to the consumer. This is what makes the market viable and popular as an alternative to mainstream outlets.
A secondary but vital function is to provide a place for start-ups. People who have a business idea they want to try but not the huge financial resources necessary to gain access to a shopping strip or mall.
When setting policy for the market it is tempting to assume the correct thing to do is get a couple of valuations, set and forget. The market is a much more complex organism and deserves thought and care."
Catherine Underhill

McIvers Coffee & Tea Merchants - Queen Victoria Market

13/07/2014 21:50:19 rental philosophy "Very well said, Catherine..
Its quite simple really. If you want a good market, if you want a busy successful market, it must offer products and goods cheaper than your fancy shopping centres. The only way traders can offer this, is by having a place to trade at a discounted overhead.  If the council want to have an iconic market, then be like the traders, offer your goods (rent) cheaper  than market make enough  profit as it is." Andy

What Are QVM's Greatest Challenges?

There are so many issues associated with renewal that keeping track of what deserves to be at the top of the list is not easy. But here is a view from one of our traders along with an invitation for all traders to contribute their thoughts.

"With todays current economic climate, what do you see as the biggest challenges for the QVM going forward?
 After many hours of thought, l have realised that our great QVM will have many challenges, some of them will be big, some small, but if we all work together and look at the bigger picture, we can ensure the survival of our great market, not just for the next 5 years, but for the next 100 years.
 My personal feelings of our greatest challenges are as follows:
1. Customers are time poor
In todays modern day society, we are all working longer hours, population growth is spreading further and further out (look at me, I live in Wallan), and this means that customers have less time to spend travelling to shopping destinations.

2. Higher costs of living
With the price of utilities increasing, petrol, tolls and parking (City of Melbourne adding a Congestion Tax to all parking spaces to reduce the number of cars travelling to the city) these will all contribute to customers looking at the overall cost of the day to the market, versus a visit to the new local shopping that has been built in the estate just up the road from them, selling items at around the same prices as the market.

3. Hours of operation
Our current hours of operation do not reflect todays modern day shopper whether they be local, interstate tourist or international traveller. The City of Melbourne now advertises that they are open until 7pm every night. With our current hours of operation, we miss out on the potential for all the locals (approx. 1,000,000 people and growing we have several high rise apartment blocks currently under construction, plus the 5 or 6 that are due to start in the near future).
We are currently in a Buyers market, where they can dictate to us, if they will shop with us, or they will shop elsewhere as there is now so many options available 24 hours a day.

4. Weather
   I feel that with our market being exposed to all the elements, this is hurting our trade in these harder economic times. If we could improve the protection around the market, and reduce the strong winds and rain from getting into the sheds, it would provide a better experience for all. We also need to provide some protection at the Queen Street ATMs, so customers do not need to queue up in the rain."
- Lance Dyer.

Giant Restaurant At QVM

This one-off food event sponsored by wine company, Jacobs Creek, took over the top of A shed on Saturday.
 Customers were treated to a free meal and wine during multiple sittings. It was a cold day but that didn't stop hundreds if diners (including a trader or two) from enjoying the occasion.
One trader said that he felt it was his duty to sample the offer as part of understanding the impact of our marketing on customers. After 3 glasses of red wine he was happy with the impact.
All jokes aside, initial impressions of the event were favourable. $5 vouchers that could be used in surrounding market caféwere handed out to diners in an effort to spread the goodwill.

A lot of effort has gone into enlivening the top of A shed over recent months and we would love to get your feedback on any aspect of the process particularly if you trade on Victoria St..

Latest Retail News – 13/7/2014

Latest Retail News – 13/7/2014

1. South Africa’s Woolworths makes its final offer for David Jones and Country Road Shares.
2. Some retailers claim penalty rates on public holidays make trading uneconomic.
3. Australia’s Fish’n’Chips shops are struggling.
4. Samsung declared “biggest Asian brand”.
5. Dick Smiths beats sales expectations in tough climate.
6. Group buying website, Spreets, accused of misleading conduct by ACCC.
7. Australians doing more shopping while at work.
8. Pizza Hut and Dominos go head to head with $4.95 pizzas.
9. Sam’s Warehouse and Crazy Clark’s in receivership.
10. Health groups slam Woolworths entry into health check services.
11. UK arm of La Senza collapses into administration with 55 stores.
12. Wesfarmers flags poor results for Target and liquor business.
13. Harrods opens store at Hong Kong airport.
14. GE Capital fined $1.5m for misleading Coles and Myer customers.
15. ABC Shop opens in Melbourne’s Emporium Shopping Centre.
16. ACCC targets so-called “independant” reviews posted online.
17. Sass & Bide founders leave their label after two decades.
18. Global booking giant, Expedia, makes offer for Australia’s Wotif.
19. Germany’s Von Fass, “The lolly shop for adults”, launches in Australia.
20. Myer adds labels Charlie Brown and Howard Showers to its fashion stable.
21. US retailer, Walmart, replaces Shell as the world’s top company based on revenue.
22. ACCC questions purchase of four IGA supermarkets in WA by Coles.
23. Winning Group praises new Australia/Japan pact to lower tariffs as good for retail.
24. US Government sues Amazon for allowing children to purchase online without authority.

Will This Fairytale Come True At QVM?

They say there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. - thanks to Annette from Depilit for this photo.

Sunday 6 July 2014

Traders Asked To Join Association

At a meeting back in May a large group of QVM traders agreed to adopt a subscription model to support the formation of a traders association and the employment of a professional executive to oversee trader issues and negotiate with management as needed.

The process of signing up traders has been progressing steadily and next Friday, 11th July, QVMAC Representatives Greg Smith (PE Traders) and Stephen McLennan (SL Traders) will be doing the rounds in J, K, RK, RL, and L sheds to discuss the concept and gain your signature.

A key ingredient of the Association will be agreement by every trader to contribute 1.25% of their rent to the Traders Association. That money will be placed in trust with QVM Traders Inc. to fund the employment of an executive and possibly part time staff to look after our affairs. We have yet to draw up our job description but we will be seeking sound managerial experience in a retail environment preferably with a sound knowledge of leasing arrangements and strong negotiating skills.

The subscription model is an essential ingredient of a traders association and we look forward to getting every trader on board. Application forms are available from your QVMAC Representative.

Have Your Say – click here.
07/07/2014 12:01:33 Traders Subscription Fee "In regards to the 1.25% fee, how was this calculated? Is it fair that some traders are paying more, due the fact they have larger stalls than others?
I ask this question, because the my understanding is that the purpose of employing this person, to be our legal representative with the QVM and CoM in relation to the renewal development. This is being done on a whole, and all traders will receive the same representation during this process. A trader with a double stall will receive the exact same benefits as a trader with a single stall, so should we not all pay the same fee.
I see a discrepancy in this fee, given that so many newer traders are trading on a single stall license but are taking a double stall at no extra charges (this happens almost every day). I am not bashing the newer traders here, it is just an example. I am 4 stalls a couple of days a week, but l will be paying more than the trader on a single stall, but getting the exact same representation.
Why could this fee not be based on a flat amount per license. If you have 1 license you pay 1 fee, if you 4 licenses then you pay 4 fees. Would that not be a fairer and more equal way?"

ED: You raise a fair point here and at least part of the reason the subscription was tied to rent was that it was equitable in the majority of situations and was most likely to reflect the return each trader could expect to get from their subscription. 
For instance, if the efforts of the traders association reduced rent, the multiple stall holder would gain more than the single stall holder. The same would apply if the efforts of the trader association resulted in increased sales. So maybe it could be said that the multiple stall holder stands to gain more from the representation and therefore should pay more.
It was a point for discussion and QVMAC Representatives agreed that a flat percentage on rent was the fairest way of calculating the subscription.  

10/07/2014 19:35:19 1.25% response "Response to the ED: In relation to your theory that if sales increase then l have benefited more from the association, because l have a larger stall. l do not agree with this at all. 
It means that my share of the increase is relevant to the size of my stall. I pay more for the size of my stall, and therefore an increase in turnover should be reflected by that, but in saying that, there is no guarantee that my sales will increase because more people attend the market. In relative terms my increase based on my rent, say 4 stalls, should be 4 times that of someone on a single is what you are saying, so l should pay 4 times that of the single person, not taking into account my overheads are 4 times that of the single stall holder........ What about all these casual single license holders that set up on a double everyday, and only pay for a single, are they not already receiving a benefit by less rent for a larger size stall than everyone else? And going forward, if sales increase then they get the benefits, and pay less than those on a double stall for it.
I think the logic here needs some thinking..... Lets say 800 stall holders all pay $5 per week, thats $4000 per week. A single stall holder 5 days a week, will pay approx $2 A double stall holder 5 days a week, will pay approx $4 (if my maths are correct, as l have different size stalls each day, so my rents are little all over the place). I guess the thinking is, will you actually generate the same income, from 1.25% of rent or a flat fee, and will it then become a case of I'm paying more than you, so l want more representation, and l want more done in my area, than yours. After all, majority of the traders think of themselves first, and everyone else, and the consequences second." 

Friday 4 July 2014

Something Smells In String Bean Alley

We have deliberately avoided posting on the unfortunate smell emanating from the top end of String Bean Alley and L shed with the expectation that a stray smell should be easily corrected. But many months have now passed since this first became an issue and traders and customers are still being subjected to an unacceptable assault on their senses.

The vile smell at the height of summer has been replaced most recently by a strong antiseptic smell that is almost as pungent as our cleaning staff battle to contain the problem. It is not our role to comment on the process of correction. We are sure there is much effort being put into an obviously difficult problem but enough is enough. Traders are being disadvantaged, customers are complaining and our market's reputation is suffering. 

POSTSCRIPT: Good news. Management have advised the following action this afternoon - 
Remedial Works.
·         - A supplementary external Tank will be installed between the Coffee Container and the ATM container on the 16th July.
·         - Devi Plumbing will be onsite at 2.30pm this afternoon  to confirm the final measurements and installation requirements.
·         - The four waste pipes (from the Coffee Container) will be connected to the External Tank, which will be “airtight”.
·         - Metal Screens will be installed on either side of the Tank to restrict access to non-authorised personnel.

·         - The Stormwater Drain in the area will be sealed and made redundant.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

J Shed gets A Clean Up

The cleaning process spotted in the bottom half of J shed this morning will hopefully be extended throughout the whole top end. JShed and its neighbours, K, RK, RL, and L are probably most in need of a spruce up. Removing the collection of dust and dirt in the upper reaches of these sheds will be welcomed by traders. It is all about having pride in where you work.

Have Your Say - click here.

02/07/2014 19:07:49 J Shed High Clean "It was fantastic to see Citywide and tranzwash combine there  expertise and and heavy duty cleaning machinery to give J shed a a major spring clean removing all the dust , grease,cobwebs and bird droppings through out the shed .
A great big tick of approval to Queen Victoria Market. " John
02/07/2014 21:35:00 cleaning the dust from above us. "This cleaning is long overdue, and i suggest for health reasons should be done at least once a year". skippy
03/07/2014 12:16:19 j shed cleaning "Great job done so far, it's great not having birds doing their business onto my stall or bits of debris falling onto it or customers." Leah  
03/07/2014 18:40:24 J Shed Cleaning "Just saw this picture on here, it shows the Bottom of J shed.....Was looking overhead today and could see that the lights are still full of grease and grime, the sprinkler system is still covered in grease and grime, and this all comes from the night market food stalls. It would have been nice to see these cleaned as well"  
 03/07/2014 23:23:42 J shed "Let's not judge until it's finished , I hear thats scheduled for next Monday. It's was great that you could see the sunlight shining through the top glass today. :) And yes to a continues clean through out the rest of the sheds. " Michael

Why Asking To Withdraw From Renewal Is Wrong - A Traders Comment

"Much has been written on this website about a petition doing the rounds asking for the State Government to withdraw its support for renewal at QVM. The petition has been variously credited to an un-named group of traders, a group called Save The Vic Market, Friends of the Market, the State Opposition, and even one of our box hire operators.

In all this confusion is it any wonder that we have difficulty knowing where we are heading? Many traders will tell you that it is difficult to look forward when there is so much fear about what impact the future will have on our businesses. It is easier to say “No” to change than to trust in the unknown. Management haven't helped much here by proposing an underground car park that will make business conditions worse for many traders, at least in the short term.

But are we failing to recognise where we are right now? As any good navigator knows, you cant get to there if you dont know where here is. Looking to an uncertain future may prevent us from considering the present and at QVM the present isn't very attractive. We are suffering very poor trading conditions and all areas of the market have identified serious decline. It is true that there is a global decline in retailing but that is of little comfort.

The way we do things hasn't changed a lot since last century although our customer expectations have certainly changed. Customers are openly criticising our offer and, we know in some cases that is an unreasonable attitude (take the debate over souvenirs), but it still exists. They say shopping here is inconvenient with too many aisles to walk past too many traders with the same offer. It is true that most of the blame for repetition lays with a management intent on filling revenue producing stalls without too much concern about what makes a good product mix. They do now appear keen to rectify that.

Customers say our traders are too hard to find when there are technological options to correct that. They say we don't trade in the hours they want to access us and we don't offer the conveniences that our competitors, including online, are providing. Traders are suffering as a consequence.

I will admit there is a significant difference of opinion about how far traders are really suffering. There are many traders, including those in our leadership group, who deny that traders are looking for change. I am going to take a stab that most of the deniers are older well-established traders with the resources and business strength to get through tough times. I am not sure that is true of the newer traders with young families and a mortgage. Only each individual trader can answer that question. Either way, I don't believe any trader believes that doing nothing is the answer.

So, the question becomes what do we need to do and what part does renewal play in achieving that? We need more customers and management seem to be believe that making QVM a more attractive and convenient place to shop with better recreation areas and an events centre is one way of achieving that. We need better facilities like weather protection in the top end and food handling facilities in the bottom end. Facilities require large injections of money which only something like a major renewal project can provide.

It is true that some important things can be done without a renewal. But, I believe there is a sound argument that a professionally managed and comprehensive over-riding project will produce better results than a piece meal approach where we try to plug holes.

I apologise for writing such a long article. My brain is now hurting. But I honestly believe there are far too many negative attitudes being expressed about our future. Management need to give serious attention to the negative aspects of what they are proposing but equally traders need to embrace their core obligation to be entrepreneurs adaptable to change. Rejecting change and asking to withdraw the renewal is not the answer."

 – Greg Smith

02/07/2014 21:39:46 change "Well said Greg... very well written . Agree totally with all points." Andy
04/07/2014 18:20:27 renewal talk I agree with you Greg, but I think its not that we don't all agree that we need change, our problem is that its doesn't seem to be a what's best for the market. A underground car park  will not work, you can spend as much money on consultant as you want and you still won't convince me or many other stall holders that it is a good idea. Are they even looking at other options?  
07/07/2014 14:38:56 Embrace Change "Embracing change for better of all is great. The QVM is well known for its critical mass and competiveness. Reducing its size, hence reducing stall holders on the other hand is not favourable. Most of the stall holders I speak to are not in favour of the current proposal. QVM management needs to provide assurances for the following and stalls holders will jump on board. * Assurance that stall holders will not be reduced. * After any temporary inconvenience of the renewal process that the stall holders return to their existing trading position.
* Rent increases 3% or less per year. Their is a reason for so much negativity and little to gain for stall holders. Stall holders need a better offer! By the way, younger stall holders with families have small mortgage repayments while established stall holders have HUGE mortgage repayments. " Bruce Pham