Sunday, 10 January 2016

Gloves Off – Why Have Rules If.....

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.

Trader attitudes to rule breakers were made quite clear during the one to one interviews in 2014. More than half the traders interviewed were concerned about lack of rules or non-compliance of rules. So why do so many breaches go unattended? Why have rules if they are not enforced?

Rules are important to the effective operation of our market. Traders expect management to protect their businesses from the uncaring behaviour of others. The vast majority of traders know the importance of working together for the common good but some don’t. Traders who set up late and block aisles with their storage boxes are prime culprits. Those who bring their storage boxes into the aisle before closing time are equally at fault. There is nothing like the sound of storage boxes trundling through our market to put a stop to business activity. Traders who set up late or pack up early, with or without boxes, are creating a bad impression with our customers. And traders who drive their vehicles in aisles before closing time are beyond redemption.

The point is that at any time during our advertised opening and closing time some traders are doing business. Any trader who jeopardises that business by interfering with aisle access deserves to be corrected. Often the problem sits with workers who are keen to get an early start on their long list of stall pack-ups, but of course that is no excuse.

There are other issues. Traders who extend their stall beyond their nominated boundaries need to be kept in line. Their attempts to gain an advantage over their neighbours do little more than add clutter to our market. Blocking vision with overhead displays is another undesirable practice (and according to this week’s trader’s bulletin will receive management attention). We should point out that some rules have been very effectively managed. The push on preventing vehicles and storage boxes being parked in empty stalls has worked and our market looks better as a result.

But there is more work to be done and if additional resources need to be allocated to rule enforcement then let’s do it. Traders can of course play their role here. Calmly letting your neighbours know that their behaviour is unacceptable can bring results. Like we said, more than half of our traders raised non-compliance as an issue.

Working together is more than just a phrase. It means identifying what we need to do as a market to be competitive in a very competitive retail environment. Once identified, we need to carry through, and in the case of rule enforcement we need to make sure that a few recalcitrants are brought in to line for the common good.

11/01/2016 09:40:02 Gloves off "Historically traders like to push the boundaries or get away with as much as possible. That's human nature.
If Management are looking for pro active traders with a can-do attitude moving forward towards renewal then so are the majority of stall holders expecting the same standards of Management.
Traders who are trying to run successful & legitimate businesses need to be assured that their efforts are not in vain and backed by strong leadership from a  Management.
The ground made over the past 2 years has again been lost and articles such as this are repeated and so the circle continues.
This year will see many decisions made on the Markets future and if the ground work is not laid for a strong foundation to build from then we are starting from a long way back.

Thanks - Steve
With the appointment of a new CEO hopefully a clearer direction can be established."
Thanks for your input Steve. - Ed