Thursday 8 January 2015

Lost Trading Opportunities

We have received reports from the top end of QVM that the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year's Day was very busy. In fact one trader compared it with the Jehovah's Witness Thursday earlier in the year. But the question needs to be asked -  are we taking advantage of the prime trading opportunities available after Christmas?

Interestingly, our Path Intelligence data for the week before Christmas Day recorded the biggest crowd on the Tuesday.   We look forward to seeing how the Tuesday between Christmas and New Year compared (data expected soon) but in the meantime let's examine more closely how we respond to the Christmas New Year period at QVM.

Boxing Day- Boxing Day is one of the single busiest days of the year in Melbourne's retail calendar and yet our market closes. While city retailers are full of eager bargain hunters our aisles are empty. Boxing Day sales are a comparatively recent retail phenomenon having started in the late 1980's and it would appear that QVM has simply never embraced the concept. We are dominated by small family businesses and Boxing Day is often viewed as a chance for a family to relax together. 

For fresh food traders in particular the world seems to end on Christmas Eve and, apart from a surge on New Year’s Eve they have started thinking about taking holidays. 

Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) on the other hand are looking forward to one of their busiest times of the year as tourists flock to our city for annual holidays and special sporting events like cricket and tennis.

Marketing. - the marketing push leading up to Christmas is strong and this year included our Traders Cash Giveaway. But while city retailers are madly promoting their post Christmas sales, our market backs off. Food traders are preparing for a quieter time of year and planning their holidays. Specialty Traders on the other hand are preparing for business. Does QVM's post Christmas marketing meet the needs of Specialty Traders? The marketing blog that feeds social media has continued its posting into the new year but essentially our next marketing push will be directed at Chinese New Year later in February.

Monday/Wednesday Trading Opportunities. - if the special Monday and Wednesday trading days before Christmas were successful why didn't we take advantage of extra trading days after Christmas when city retailing is booming? The answer is that QVMAC Trader Representatives made a judgement call earlier in December that traders would be interested in extra trading days before Christmas, but probably not interested after Christmas (apart from food traders opening on Wednesday, New Year's Eve). Was that the right decision?

These are all questions that require our attention and your feedback. As traders prepare for a new year and how they will re-invigorate their businesses we need to question all past practices. Do you believe we are taking as much advantage of post Christmas trading as we should be? Please comment below.

Have Your Say - click here.

08/01/2015 20:43:51 Post Christmas "My belief is that trading on Boxing Day would not make any difference to us. We very rarely have 2 days in a row off and believe after working full on in the lead up to Christmas this is a very deserved break. Everyone knows that the first day back after Christmas is always a good day and I doubt we could compete with the marketing that the big stores invest in in the lead up to the boxing day sales. We must not forget that we are small family business and sometimes there are more things important than one days trade. Lets keep some tradition "

08/01/2015 21:11:38 Extended Trading Hours "Like the Monday& Wednesday special trading days before Christmas perhaps Boxing Day or New Years Eve could be opened on an expression of interest basis for those who would be willing to trade in a similar set structure to this year."  Steve

Steve makes a good point here and it accommodates the concerns expressed in the first comment.  In the top end the special Monday and Wednesday trading days before Christmas were optional. Traders could choose to take advantage of the extra trade or not. QVM facilitated a special market in C, D, and E sheds so that there were no embarrassing gaps created by absent stallholders. From all reports that worked well. Traders who wanted to trade were accommodated and the market retained its professional appearance. Perhaps the same could be applied to Boxing Day and New Year's Eve. - Ed. 

10/01/2015 21:57:10 Lost Trading Opportunities "...We must not forget that we are small family business and sometimes there are more things important than one days trade. Lets keep some tradition." - "I do totally agreed with this comment, there are more important things for family this time than money for just one a year of trading."