Saturday 27 September 2014

Will Music Week Benefit Traders?

There has been much debate amongst traders about the likely business impact of Music Week at QVM and whether the sacrifice of temporary relocation for traders will be worthwhile.

Melbourne's Music Week is the city's premier annual music festival and this year it will be held under the sheds at the top end of QVM with some 50-60 traders being relocated for a two week period. Special arrangements have been made for traders including a "showcase" marquee in the prime customer flow area on Therry St which it is hoped will introduce top end traders to a whole new source of market customers.

But will all this disruption benefit traders? The short term gain is probably questionable. A Music Week crowd won't be in town primarily for shopping, a bit like that other famous annual event, the Melbourne Grand Prix. But there will be 30,000 participants so we can expect some business flow on. The special arrangements to showcase traders in the Queen St., Therry St. Hub has potential for an event type atmosphere and attracting a new, some would say lost, source of foodie customers. Then there is the buzz that a special event creates although there is some concern about the nature of the buzz. Let's hope Melbourne Music Week is a bit more like Adelaide's WOMAD festival with broad appeal across the population and less like a rock concert.

Longer term, this event addresses some of the concerns around QVM being an under-utilised facility with great potential. As the city encroaches (very speedily) on our market the fact that our trading hours are restricted by comparison with CBD retailers, and that we are closed for two days each week, needs addressing. Nobody expects current traders to trade 24/7 so creating a greater flexibility for markets and events on our site is desirable. If QVM can be seen as a place to come for shopping and entertainment at any time, then all the market's businesses are likely to benefit no matter when they trade.

Are there any guarantees here? Obviously not. It was recently reported in the retail press that, given the current retail upheaval, if retailers can try 10 new ideas or 10 new projects, and get 3 or 4 to work, they have done very well. Stepping out of our comfort zone with this sort of event creates a mix of anxiety and positive expectation. It will be very interesting to see how it pans out.

27/09/2014 16:35:15 Music week "My question is - We have been lead to believe that there will be displays and music going on all week but today I was told that it's only operating for 18 hours that match the times the market is open, so for all the disruption and the fact that the Market is moving 50-60 stalls of mostly traders who have been operating for many year in the same position at a time of year that represents the start of the X-mas trading and spring racing carnival, it seems a little short sighted and unfair. I'm all for trying something new but it must be a benefit to the Market, cause at the end of the day we are a retail space not a event space."