Sunday 25 December 2016

Trader Requests Feedback On Friday's Extended Trading

We have received the following request through the Have Your Say facility on

25/12/2016 15:22:54 Late closing for general merchandise “What was  the general feeling re late trading for general merchandise......  please respond thanks”

Editor’s response – It is difficult to give even a general feeling without a lot more discussion with traders. That discussion hasn’t happened because of the Christmas break, but I will give you some thoughts that were discussed amongst the traders around me on Friday night.
- The concept did not work. (Some traders left as early as 5:00pm and even the stalwarts around me, who were determined to stick it out if there was any hope of sales, started packing at 7:00pm)
- Some traders in J shed adjacent to the Queen St. entertainment were still doing business at 7:00pm.
- The night was probably never going to be really busy but early packers created holes that made the situation worse.
- This type of market requires curation if it is to succeed. In other words only traders committed to the concept should be part of the market. It was always planned that traders who did not wish to commit to the late trading would be asked to move to the Peel St. end of the market so they could leave without creating holes. That obviously didn’t happen. Getting a consensus amongst traders is difficult.
- We may have over-estimated the city-worker interest on that day. Some office workers have suggested that there was a general exodus from the city from mid afternoon.
- The one hour extension on Thursday seemed to work for a number of traders (one reported that over 30% of his sales occurred after 2:00pm on Thursday) but the 9:00pm closing was simply stretching things too far on the Friday.
- Despite the obvious failure of 9:00pm trading, business on the day was quite good.
- The entertainment and PA announcements seemed to work quite well although constantly asking customers to take a break from shopping to attend events in Queen St. annoyed some traders. The suggestion was to do more to distribute entertainment through the top end.
- There were positives from the day and a number of traders were saying it was a worthwhile exercise although we need to do much better next time.

I stress that these are just initial responses from a small group of traders and there is a lot more to discuss and analyse.

Traders are invited to express their views here if they wish. Normal rules apply (see the guidelines on the Have Your Say page. - Ed.

PS - Our photo at the top of the page shows Mick & Robyn still set up at 8:30pm on Friday night. They may have been the last traders standing in the top end.

Have Your Say – click here.