Sunday 12 February 2017

Plan To Activate C Shed

The top end of C shed in the upper market has seen many attempts to revitalise the area but the latest to start next weekend has definite merit.

Empty stalls in A, B, and C shed have become a common sight as our market grapples with changing customer demand. There were a number of attempts to populate the top of C shed with special markets. Essentially this involved handing over the aisle to outside market operators who brought in the “cream of the crop” craft traders and a variety of clothing traders from other high profile markets like Flemington, Mornington and Red Hill.

They didn’t survive the long term although the fact that there rents were often higher than QVM rents didn’t help. Then there was the car boot sale which allowed the public to directly engage with QVM but, for many, set the wrong direction for Australia’s premier market.

This time the aim is to populate the aisle with our latest crop of new trader applicants. These are the fresh new entrepreneurs who want to try their hand at a short term lease and give market retailing a try. So it would become a bit like an incubation market.

Putting these new traders in the one place makes a lot of sense.
  • -       It gives them that group cohesion in the scary early days of setting up their business.
  • -      It enables QVM staff, and perhaps nominated experienced traders, to monitor their performance more closely rather than have them spread across the market.
  • -      Creating an “Incubation Market” has great marketing potential. – “Meet Melbourne’s newest retail entrepreneurs”

The new activation will happen on Saturday’s and Sunday’s commencing next weekend (February 18th).

QVM taking control of this activation is great but we can see one potential problem. The top end of C shed has 18 or so double stalls. The plan is to start off with 10 or 12 traders and hopefully grow to 18. Until you reach 18 there is the danger of the “toothless market”. A fully populated aisle is essential to create that buying buzz. Empty stalls are unsightly and a downer for business.

So how do you ensure a full aisle from the start? Why not extend the offer to current traders? Many current traders will have harbored plans to try a new idea or experiment with a variation on their current range and they already have the facilities and expertise to do the job.  

This could be just the answer to achieve a full aisle, give current traders an opportunity to experiment at little cost, and perhaps unearth the next group of success stories at QVM.