Sunday 12 November 2017

Can We Successfully Trade In String Bean Alley Without A Roof?

View down String Bean Alley November 2017
QVM is about to undergo a construction process to better equip our market for the long term. Construction on one side of the market will displace a large number of traders and some measures will be necessary to accommodate them on the other side of the market, including String Bean Alley.  

Fitting traders from A-D Sheds in J to M sheds during renewal will mean occupying the String Bean Alley side of L Shed but that can only be done with significant weather protection and that probably means a roof.

String Bean Alley is subject to weather and whilst the current containers on the south side of the alley are covered by a roof, the Northern side is exposed to the elements.

Aisles like the F Shed laneway are uncovered, and have their own unique weather protection problems, but they do have a roof over the trading area and offer significantly more shelter than SBA. As our lead photo shows, more than half the stall area on SBA is exposed to wind, sun and rain. The white lines show stall location.

This second photo shows E Shed on a day when strong winds were forecast. E Shed is a bit like L Shed in that traders can trade into the F Shed laneway with permanent shops on the other side of the lane, although in this case they have a roof out to the stall boundary. Traders despite being under cover, chose to stay home rather than trade in extreme weather. It should be noted that they can trade into E Shed itself, but they still choose to stay away. The point we are trying to make is that protection from weather is critical to stall operation to the extent that traders will give up income rather than face weather damage. A stall(s) without a roof cannot be contemplated for the vast majority of traders.

There is another element to this story and it relates to the inclusion of String Bean Alley into the market. That may sound strange because obviously SBA is within the market but traffic flow suggests that customer see it as more of a transit aisle than part of the trading area. One trader claims that SBA traffic flow runs at around 15% of that under the sheds. It has been suggested that J Shed used to be a transit aisle but the installation of a roof made it another trading aisle (probably as well as a thoroughfare) and a desirable space for retailing.

There are few guarantees here but it would seem likely that a roof over SBA would enhance its credentials as a retail drawcard and therefore its sales and rental value.

Let’s hope that designers don’t underestimate the need for adequate protection on this occasion. Traders, customers, and the reputation of our market require a professional solution.

12/11/2017 20:31:26      weather protection          " I've been trading for nearly 40 years at the market and still waiting for some weather protection between the sheds. Wind, rain, sun and dust makes trading a lot more difficult than it already is. With the renewal upon us in the next few months I believe that is a "no brainer" to at the very least try to improve our trading conditions not only for us but more importantly for our customers. Hopefully management will show some leadership and push for a positive result than will benefit everyone with the market interest at heart."
Thanks for your input - Ed.

12/11/2017 22:39:26      Installation of a roof.     "I am surprised to witness this kind of discussion in the 21st century. If People don't wear hats anymore, it is logic that, they need a roof, to keep them to do shopping longer. What for? Since we start a discussion about renewal that was the first thing on the list, Priority Number One. Mandatory. But for some reasons, we are still going around. "      Mino
Thanks for your comments Mino. - Ed