Saturday 6 January 2018

Compromising Market Recovery - What Would You Have Done?

Some pretty hard decisions are being made as the market and traders prepare for the future. How we make our market better while protecting individual trader interests can be a real dilemma. You may or may not agree with the way the following example was handled.

A trader (let’s call him AB) had decided to leave the market mainly due to poor trading conditions. He had paid a considerable amount for his stall and knew he wouldn’t get that investment back but he wanted to get some return and he had a buyer who was a current trader in the same category. We understand that the sale price was to cover stock purchase more than any goodwill.

Management and traders are very aware of the perception of repetition in our market and so when a trader decides to leave that is a good time to take appropriate action. Removing repetition is a long term goal that most traders see as a worthwhile correction to make our market better and more relevant. 

In this case, management decided to resist the sale to another trader in the same category. They stated that a sale needed to offer something new to the market and that could happen to an existing trader or somebody new but it could not be a product range that could add to repetition. The selling process stalled.

So that was the “best for the market” decision and then the “human factor” came in as a number of traders complained that our selling trader was being poorly treated and he should have an opportunity to recoup something from all his time and effort at QVM. Others argued that the harsh realities of retailing left little room for sentiment. 

In the end an approach was made to management to encourage a result that would give some return to the selling trader whilst protecting repetition. The final result was a compromise. The sale to the current trader in the same category went ahead.  The selling trader got some money and the existing trader was required to give some guarantees about how he would differentiate his offer.

Was that the right result - or just a compromise that once again jeopardised the future of our market? Did we miss a great opportunity to correct a known problem in our market? Should we try to protect  traders, or should we accept that some are going to suffer whilst we try to make our market better? Is there room for sentiment when the harsh outside world, particularly in retailing, ignores sentiment.

This is one of those issues that involved input from both management and traders. What would you have done? 

Have Your Say - click here.

08/01/2018 07:07:54      Compromise            "After reading countless articles about the renewal process  & traders being relocated ,reducing repetition or traders stall size being shrunk ,other stallholders walking away because potential sales have been turned down or stall holders having to face some sacrifices for the betterment of the Markets future .
Instead we read another example of a rudderless management and the tail wagging the dog."            Stavros D shed   
Thanks Stavros, but you haven't answered the question. What would you have done? - Ed     

08/01/2018 07:25:10      compromising market recovery            "On hearing of a traders stall being up for sale in the same category I trade in  my initial inquiries I was told that the potential buyer  could not already operate a similar business and not gain multiple stalls in the same category. Surprise surprise the rules changed . Had other traders been made (aware) of the about face the selling trader may have had multiple bidders and receive more money for his stalls ,you have infact done him a disservice . This has also set a dangerous precedent for all future sales and in any over repetitive product range."        Thank you for your response. I understand in this case there was only one bidder but the issue here is not getting more bidders rather how do we achieve the right result when faced with a conflict of repetition and selling a stall. What would you have done? - Ed 
08/01/2018 09:20:02      Compromising        "If this is a genuine case of repetition (not some outsider’s perception) then I would stick to protecting the market and refusing the stall transfer. We are not going to survive this retail future by compromising. Consumer opinion cannot be ignored here and our offer needs to be focused and excellent. 
In the case of the sale price, I am assuming we are talking a small amount of money. Anybody wishing to enter our market including those on the casual list, shouldn’t balk at an entry fee. If that entry/exit was governed by some formal structure then perhaps stall sales could progress without this fuss.  "
Thanks for your input - Ed.

08/01/2018 09:40:54      Market repetition "What I would have done as a suggestion the trader could have gone to other traders in the same category sold all his stock (may even come out ahead)? ,the market would have started reducing  the repetitiveness of some product lines and had an extra set of stalls to be used for trader relocations.
Every body wins.
Does that sound to easy or simple."     Stephen Mclennan
Sounds good Stephen. Thanks for your input - Ed.

10/01/2018 13:28:48      Compromising the Market          "It's Ironic to think that 2 of the 3 traders going to the C.O.M unhappy with how the market is running 5 years ago and wanted change are still unhappy how it's running now.
This Renewal process was always going to impact on many traders good or bad.
How did you think it was going to play out? or has the hardship we are facing just dawned on you now?
Management should manage and traders should mind their own business."
That is an interesting take. Change was always going to bring difficulties and happiness won't come until we are all once again in a profitable trading environment. You are correct, management should manage, but this is definitely trader's business, and the two need to find a common course, which is essentially why we have this article. Thanks for your input. - Ed.