Sunday 7 June 2015

Celebrating the Humble Storage Box

They are noisy, unattractive, and constantly getting in our way but Queen Victoria Market’s storage boxes are an essential ingredient in the unique operation of a modern public market.

Like camels in the desert, these metal beasts give us the means to operate nomadic businesses as we move from stall to stall in pursuit of business riches. Our unique set-up/pack-down operation requires tough, compact, and mobile storage facilities and the variety of storage boxes available at our market fill that requirement very well. Some real antiques are still in use and the box shown in our photo on the right deserves to be the first entry in the QVM Museum.

There has been concern expressed at the appearance of the boxes and it is undeniable that they would not win any beauty contests. There was an attempt a couple of years ago to paint the boxes and give a more pleasing appearance but the bash/crash nature of moving them around probably made that impractical. This photo shows one of the more creative attempts to decorate a box using stock product labels. We like it. In any case, a properly merchandised stall can hide the appearance of ugly fixtures and fittings with a bit of effort from the stall holder.

There are of course many styles of boxes available and some of the more modern variations with their fold out compartments and pull-apart configurations would not be out of place in the next transformers movie. Box hire operators have been quite innovative in their construction but I won’t be happy until they create that single push button model that opens and sets up all my displays in one go. 

Our final word goes to this particular storage box – The sign on the side says it all.