Friday 20 March 2015

Traders Meet With QVM Board

QVMAC Trader Representatives George Milonas (Meat & Fish) and Greg Smith (Specialty Traders – General Merchandise) presented to the QVM Board at their scheduled meeting on Thursday 19th March.
George and Greg were allowed 30 minutes to present current issues for traders as part of the Board’s commitment to direct access. 

George talked about three specific areas –
          Car parking – renewal discussions include a commitment to retain at least the current level of 710 car park spaces and George made a case for also replacing the lost car park spaces from Therry St., Queen St., and Franklin St. He made the point that the usual practice with a shopping precinct upgrade involves more car parking, not less.
          Trader Protection – George asked what trader protection is in place to ensure traders are not disadvantaged by renewal. He pointed out that “History has shown us that during renovations traders suffer significant damage” and he asked that measures be introduced during renewal to ensure growth.
          A QVM Trader On The Board – George suggested that having a trader on the QVM Board made a lot of sense, particularly during a complex renewal process. He recognised that issues of “conflict of interest” had been raised in the past and he stressed that a trader on the Board would only work if it was embraced by the Board as a measure that could benefit the market.
George’s full presentation can be found here – QVMAC BoardPresentation – George Milonas.

Greg Smith gave a review of the response from Specialty Traders (General Merchandise) to the renewal process so far. He talked about the Strengths, Weaknesses, Priorities and Other Issues related to renewal.
Strengths – Greg said that the documentation contained in the Draft Master Plan and the Strategic Brief was comprehensive and wide-ranging. The documents were useful tools for traders to engage with the renewal project.
Weaknesses –       (a) Greg said that the lack of clarity over how a retail market would integrate with an events space was a major concern for traders. He pointed out that Melbourne Music Week had created a negative impact on sales although events like the Tupperware Delegation showed promise.
                              (b) The other major weakness in renewal was the lack of detail. Greg maintained that traders needed a clear picture of what was to happen and a level of detail that enabled a realistic assessment of the impact on business.
Priorities – Given the above, Greg said our priority is for detailed discussions as soon as possible.
Other Issues – Greg said that a major area of concern for traders was how we maintain a comprehensive marketing & promotions program during the distraction of a renewal.

Greg’s presentation can be found here – QVMAC BoardPresentation – Greg Smith.

Both Trader Representatives received a good hearing at the Board meeting and a useful exchange of questions and answers took place.