Friday 5 May 2017

QVMs Retail Plan Is Comprehensive But…

The newly released Retail Plan is big in concept and gives a picture of how the market will look in 5 years time after a major renewal has been implemented. It won’t tell traders exactly where they will be trading and that is often the first question that traders ask. Specifics like that aside, the Retail Plan is a welcome document for those looking for guidance and a clearer view of how QVM plans to address retail change.

These notes are from a presentation given by CEO Malcolm McCullough on Tuesday after the market to a packed room of traders from most market categories. (See also our article “Retail Plan In Brief”)

“The Start of a Journey”

The first point that Malcolm made was that this plan is not an end product. It is the start of a journey that will involve constant reference to traders as we work through the 45 projects contained in the Implementation Framework released last year. Some provisions are known already –
   - There will be a spot for every trader.
   - There will be a greater spread of hours in the market.
   - There will be greater accessibility for customers.

The Retail Plan is a commercial document that will not only advise traders but also form the basis for funding from CoM and State Government. It is based on taking advantage of increased residency in the CBD and expanding the number of annual visitors to our market to 17 million within the 5 year time span. It includes considerations around affordability for traders and customers, an ongoing focus on traditions of market trading, and heritage matters.

Here are notes on specific market precincts:
Quarter 1 – The Food Court, Food Halls, and H&I Sheds - Areas like the food halls will see little change. There will be improvements to fittings including painting. Airflow will be improved to handle hot and cold conditions. There will be some changes to the way food is handled and Dairy Lane will be enhanced for weather protection and seating. The terrace shops on Elizabeth St. will include a fresh food offer.

“Fresh Food Offer On Elizabeth and Victoria Streets.”

H&I Sheds will continue to have Fruit & Vegetables although other categories may be introduced. Therry St. will have more activation with shops and seating. The entrances to the Food Court and Meat & Fish Hall from Queen St. will be opened up to offer a more integrated food offer including the possibility of fresh food being cooked onsite. Instead of two closed-off entrances imagine an open vista to a world of food.

Quarter 2 – Victoria St to F Sheds – Underground facilities are still on the agenda and underground entrances/exits on Peel St. will in part determine the placement of stalls. The bottom of C Shed will become Fruit & Vegetable and The General Merchandise area in D and E sheds will be devoted to traders who want to stay in the same place.
Underground facilities will enable refrigeration and food handling close to stalls and if combined with customer car-parking will provide a point of entry for customers to Fruit and Vegetables, as well as the rest of the market. The extent of customer parking here will depend on the final configuration of Munro’s, but either way, 720 public car parking spaces are on the agenda.
There will be meat and deli offer on Victoria St. and there will still be stalls on Queen St. including the iconic Donut Van.

Quarter 3 – J Shed to String Bean Alley – this will be the flexible trading area of the market. There will be flexible stall sizes, flexible displays, flexible trading days and flexible trading hours. The String Bean Alley or M Shed “wall” will be condensed to allow greater integration between the new park area (old car park) and the sheds. In other words – more entrances.

Some other key points:
1.Weather protection will be key component with open areas, particularly from F Shed to Victoria St. nominated for protection.
2. Analytics – QVM will enhance its information support to traders.
3. Greater investment in marketing.
4. Safety – ensuring operational safety measures to protect customers and traders from vehicles, forklifts, rubbish etc.
5. Regional Victoria – bring producers back to our market.
6. Rents – will be kept to CPI or specific lease provisions but there will not be a major rent hike.
7. Expanding trader offer with new traders.
8. Munro’s site will not have supermarkets,  franchises or inappropriate competition with current traders.

More information: The Retail Plan (Melbourne’s Marketplace Retail Plan is its full name) contains a lot of information. Questions are inevitable and Traders are urged to contact their Category Managers on any aspect of the plan. Just remember that a five year renewal plan with 45 individual projects will include some unknowns.

We may not know exactly where individual traders will end up, or what trading hours will finally be decided on, but a Retail Plan like this will certainly set guidelines to make those sorts of discussions more predictable.


06/05/2017 18:12:59 Qvm retail plan """There will be meat and deli offer on Victoria St.""
Can you shed some further light on this at all? This seems to be at odds with the general concept of grouping similar businesses together"

That is a good question and I have emailed Malcolm McCullough today asking for a response. Watch this space. - Ed.

08/05/2017 09:56:13 QVM Retail Plan  "A retail plan needs solid compliant traders who grow, promote, support and can plan ahead for a commercially viable future. Traders need security with  leases or licences with terms with options say - 5yrs + 5yrs + 5 yrs. ALL TRADERS SHOULD BE PUTTING THIS AT THE TOP OF THEIR RETAIL PLANS !!!" Proud QVM trader !

No need to shout "Proud QVM trader". We get it. Security is an important part of tackling the future with confidence. Thanks for your input. - Ed.