Sunday 1 October 2017

Super Efficient Stall Setup

The Winter Night Market has only 50 or so Specialty Merchandise Traders but their stall setups show some significant features that could be useful for day trading.

The stalls are arranged back to back in groups of 4 and it may be helpful to call them QuadPods. The clean, un-cluttered design has a major advantage. Every stall is on a corner. So in an area of say 3m by 3m, there is a 6 metre frontage. That is more than a standard double stall in the day market.

And for some reason (perhaps it is just the compact design) the stallholder stands out. If you walk through the night market it is clear who looks after the stall. You could call it a more intimate association between trader and customer.

QuadPods are placed randomly (I’m sure it is not random) which adds to the adventure of moving through the market and the product is clearly the hero of each display. There are no storage boxes or vehicles to clutter the view. In between QuadPods you are able to position food or entertainment.

The photo that leads this article is perhaps not a great example because it shows minimalist product displays but there are some day traders who operate within the smaller stalls at night and are able to show off considerably more stock than you see here. We will try to get some more photos.

As we prepare to move C,D, and E Shed traders over to J-M Sheds during renewal construction, it may pay to consider smaller, more efficient stall set-ups for at least parts of the day market.

Have Your Say – click here.

01/10/2017 18:47:51 3x3 how can you run a "business" in a 3x3mtr stall?
Good point. Not every trader could run a business in a 3*3 stall but some can, including a number of current day traders. No reason why you couldn't have a 4*4m or 5*5m. The frontage is the key with this format. Thanks for your input - Ed

03/10/2017 15:30:55      New market look   "How about we have a meeting with management about what our needs are and go from there... oops my mistake, we are too stupid to know anything, the fact that those discussions were supposed to take place and never have, I guess some one smarter than a stall holder that works at it every week will make a decision on how my business should look. Even better how about sharing the same lens so we can all see the same picture instead of having chinese whispers going around the market of what might be."
Thank you for taking the time to write about this issue. If you have any comments about
how to create the new market look, we would love to publish them. – Ed.

03/10/2017 19:41:27      Stall Setup    "I believe that a the August trader information session our Chairman Mr Paul Guerra agreed  that while some stalls he visited overseas were a 3m x 3m stall setup some traders here may require larger stalls and that it may be better decided on a stall by stall basis. If you are so keen to explore a smaller setup perhaps you should put your money were your mouth is, shrink your business and trial it yourself. Let us know how you go. I know my business would suffer."
The point here is not the size of the stall. Many traders businesses are not suited to 3*3m. There are possibly two considerations
(1) Some stalls may get by on 3*3m and as we try to squeeze all specialty traders into J-M those that could help. The rest would be in stalls that suit their business. That might be larger QuadPods or the current stall configuration because I think the intention would be to have a combination of both.
(2) The bigger issue is getting out of our inflexible aisle structure and creating a
more dynamic stall arrangement. QuadPods give more corners, more flexibility and some think a less boring offer for the customer.
Thanks for your contribution.  – Ed.  
04/10/2017 07:19:41      stall size         "As you seem to have more information than the rest of us, how about you show us what you believe the market setup will look like after renewal. How many stallholders do management forsee in the future? What is their concept for a bigger stall ? You talk a lot about the smaller setups but really they are just a one person operation, serious money can not be generated from a small setup.  Let us see the same picture, though the same lens and then we can work from there. Btw this concept is nothing new its was spoken about for years ago and stall holders told you then that it wasn't feasible, so I'm guessing that management have again used your blog to get their agenda out there.  Please don't say that managment are consulting traders, it only a select few that are privy to information. So if you want real consultation how about you hand over the documents that show what your vision for the GM area is. AND PLEASE don't insult us by saying you don't know. You have the camera with the wide len, so share it around."
Thanks for the compliment about the camera with the wide lense but unfortunately there are no documents, at least not in my possession. Two factors started this discussion on Victraders this time around. One was the revelation that the Toys’R’Us bankruptcy application a couple of weeks back was related to their “aisle” philosophy. Toys’R’Us have stuck to their practice of requiring customers to walk up and down aisles to do their shopping while their competitors use variety, experiences, and technology to engage customers. The second factor was a trip to the Winter Night Market where part of the experience includes a less structured, more adventurous, stall layout than we have during the Day Market.
The two markets are different for many reasons but if we are a truly adaptive trader group we would look for any pointers that might assist business.
The next step was to talk to a few of my close trader colleagues and in the absence of any major negatives (there were reservations but not major negatives) I decided to launch an article on Victraders. Note that there was no consultation with management at this stage although I have since talked to Peter Shepheard about the possibilities. It should be noted that Paul Guerra has shown no inclination to curating the top end. For many different reasons this had to be trader driven. I have seen too many good schemes fail because traders were cynical of the intent. We can be a very cynical bunch.
In the discussions I have held with traders since there has been a general willingness to look at options. Some traders have a stall setup that wont accommodate down-sizing. But this is not about down-sizing. It is about a better way of displaying stock and making the top-end of QVM a more enjoyable place to shop. More corners, more variety, and more adventure. 
Some traders go no further than saying we are an obviously declining market and adjusting our offer to today’s consumer makes sense. Translate that to “It is worth a try”.  
And the timing is probably good because we are about to significantly re-arrange the top end to accommodate a construction zone.
But enough – this response is getting too long. Is this QuadPod idea worth trying in the top end, at least on a trial basis? Please keep your comments and suggestions coming in. - Ed

04/10/2017 10:36:46      effective stall setup            "So what your saying is, that when Malcom had  discussions with Traders and he said that Anchor traders would have prime locations and you build around those with your Quads that there are no drawing, documents or ideas on paper that the Renewal team have discussed? No one is believing that,  if you are spending the massive amount of money that  COM and QVM are, that you don't have some idea of what the end result will look like.
Don't get me wrong, their ideas might be worthy, but drip feeding Stallholders isn't the way to move forward.
As traders we can only work together if very one has the same Lens ..(Paul quote, not mine). You can only make informed comments with all the information. Be careful of making comments if you only have a minority's point of view.. Thats what started this mess in the beginning.  "
Great feedback – thank you. But we are still getting bogged down in the process rather than the merits of the proposal. Right at this moment I don’t care what management have discussed.  We need to work out what we think will be best for our market. We need to be creative rather than reactionary. When we have worked out the best way we can sit down with management and like all good negotiations reach a solution that suits all.
So let’s get back to the real questions. What do you think of QuadPods? Would QuadPods, or a combination of QuadPods and current aisle format, produce a better market? What size would you need? What about way-finding? Will ad-hoc stall setups make navigation harder? What rent would be appropriate for small stalls? Where would you store boxes and vehicles? Would you have QuadPods at the lower end of the J-M Shed area and aisles at the top or aisles around the perimeter and QuadPods in the middle? What other forms of stall set-up might work? How would you organise food and entertainment? …….and so on. Every (constructive) idea is welcome.         - Ed.

04/10/2017 13:36:33      Super Efficient Stall Setup           "Bottom line, the real question here is whether something can be done to turn around the current decline in visitation, sales and customer perceptions of the General Merchandise section of the Market.
Some basic questions to start examining the 'solution' contemplated above might be:
Will a rearrangement of stall configuration help achieve that?
What sort of new configuration might work?
Is the Night Market a good indicator or template for the day market?
Is the different configuration a prime factor in the footfall/sales success of the Night Market and considering the different offer and other factors present at the day market is it reasonable to expect that it will do likewise at the day market?
Which demographic are you trying to attract and will simply changing the layout achieve that?

What negative consequences may there be by implementing a radical change in the market layout?
Will there be dead areas or low traffic areas?
Will navigation and wayfinding be severely affected?
Will there be a carefully monitored trial that collects reliable data and can inform the success/failure of the new configuration?
Will there be willingness to either change configuration or go back to the previous configuration if the detrimental effects far outweigh the benefits?
Given the entirely new configuration being suggested how will trader stall allocations be determined, how and by whom?
What happens if some traders are benefited and other traders have severe negative impact (due to some of the consequences mentioned above)?
etc. etc. etc.

I personally welcome any suggestions that might assist the performance of the Market, but ( and it is a gamechanging but ) in my opinion: 1) implementation can only come about after serious thinking takes place laying out the specific aims of the change/s 2) there is full backing (financial and otherwise) from all parties and 3) accurate data gathering is put in place to determine success/failure/consequences with assurances that feedback will be acted on promptly."            U know Hugh

Thanks Hugh. Asking all the right questions at the right times is a good idea. - Ed

07/10/2017 20:46:47      Efficient Stall Display         "Some good questions from Hugo.
Some of which have been many times previous.
 I can only recall 3 things that have been trailed over the past 4 years.
1- The painting of storage boxes ( didn't work)
2- The yellow painted walkways ( good idea.)
3- The one pod in C shed (jury is still out.)
If we are to trial anything else in a time frame that would allow a reasonable  amount of data to make any assessment then time is quickly running out.
The half empty C shed could have trailed some different options  2 years ago.
One of the main reasons that Management see the Market differently to traders I believe is their apparent lack of trying anything different and their inability to sell their future vision to many traders through out this Renewal process."   Stavros  D shed
Thank you Stavros. What do you think about QuadPods? - Ed