Wednesday 5 July 2017

Goodbye Malcolm – And Thank You

Malcolm McCullough’s resignation from The Queen Victoria market will raise many questions but his short tenure has produced a list of influential improvements.

Car Parking – Successive managements have battled with car parking fees. The devil of market income versus the angel of attracting consumers, has dogged traders and management for years. But Malcolm’s “First hour free – second hour for $5” struck the mark very effectively and certainly favoured the angel.

ATM’s – the introduction of ATM’s in key top-end
locations may seem a small thing but they are worth their weight in gold even if just to prove to customers (and some cynical traders) that modern conveniences are appropriate in a traditional old setting. Yes, we can retain the immense charm of an old market, but combine modern convenience – and the world has not come to an end.

Retail Plan – Malcolm’s arrival timing was impeccable. We had plenty of planning documents in place (Renewal Plan, Business Plan) but we were waiting on the all important Retail Plan and we can be grateful that this influential document was created by an experienced and competent retail executive and retailer in Malcolm.

Streamlining Market Functions –  trader engagement (rent payments) and customer service functions have received attention under Malcolm’s regime and there has been criticism from some traders on both counts. However, responding to change, and gaining efficiencies and cost savings (that allow expenditure in other areas) are inevitable in any pro-active organisation.

PODs – what a delicious expectation these high tech display facilities have created. The only question is how soon can we get more.

And there are more – Trader Bulletins worth reading, a night to remember with the inaugural Traders Awards Night back in November, and so on.

Malcolm achieved a rare feat at QVM. He was still on a honeymoon with traders after 14 months. Yes, there were criticisms along the way but Malcolm had given us a taste of what an innovative retailer can do at the helm of a great market.  It is a shame his involvement was so brief. We wish him every success for the future.