Sunday 20 December 2015

Gloves Off....Trader Sales Statistics

Gloves Off is a new series of articles about things that should have been fixed but haven’t been fixed around our market - things that most people think are good ideas but for various reasons they haven’t been activated – or things that are just plain wrong but we haven’t got around to fixing them. So it is time to take off the protective gloves and take a bare-fisted approach to the problem.

The public release of QVM's Annual Report last week was an important step in openness and transparency and now it is time for traders to go down the same road.

Many of QVM's functions can only be properly measured through retail sales figures. How do we really know how effective marketing campaigns are without knowing how far sales went up (or down)? How can we justify a rent reduction without revealing (and proving) sales decline. The QVM Board recently rejected a proposal to reduce car parking fees at least partly because there was no satisfactory way of proving that there was going to be a sales benefit.
We are in a retail revolution and retailers across the globe are experimenting with a whole range of retail innovations that need to be measured. Did last years Cash Giveaway Promotion at QVM really work? We don't know because we don't measure trader sales. Would changing our trading hours give a better sales result? Without sales statistics we would never know.

So, let's assume there are lots of good reasons for collecting sales statistics. Why are traders reluctant to give up their sales figures? We already give our sales data to a third party every month when we complete our GST return for the Taxation Department. Why not give the same information to an independent third party? They could create useful sales data that would allow us to make the really smart business decisions required for modern retailing.

It is time for traders to become more open and transparent about their sales. Our future success almost certainly depends on it.

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