One of the key focuses for international retail markets is to provide an incubation environment for new businesses. Markets are potentially an ideal low cost entry point for people who have a good idea and want to test it in the big retail world. In fact creating business start up opportunities is considered one of the five benefits that underpin market relevance after the obvious economic benefit.
QVM does support the incubation process but we question whether it allocates sufficient funding to this very important ingredient. Customer feedback suggests that consumers are constantly seeking new, exciting and innovative artisan type traders. They expect that markets will provide that opportunity and they are disappointed when they don’t see it at QVM (cue in the trash & treasure debate).
Of course the harsh reality of retailing is that success is not guaranteed for new traders. There are many aspects of retailing and merchandising to stumble over as you try to make your way. Does QVM offer support to new traders or do they let “market forces” determine whether or not they survive? Given how difficult it is to find innovative ideas, and given how important customers view innovation, we believe this needs to be a priority for the future.
Incubating traders need constant attention to determine if they succeeding or not. The first line of contact for new traders, Market Officers, are not expected to impart retail wisdom and the question needs to be asked - who does? Perhaps the greatest source of retail wisdom could come from existing traders in some sort of mentor relationship?
You may have noticed a few new traders around the market in recent weeks. We can see innovative ideas at work and some desirable ingredients like sustainability being shown. They are brave individuals in a very tough retail market. Let’s hope these traders are given adequate professional support including additional resourcing if necessary. Innovation is a rare but desirable ingredient and QVM can prosper from providing a robust incubation environment.
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