Sunday 22 April 2018

Market Traders…….. It’s not you!

Many traders are on the merry-go-round of improving their offer in a whole lot of different ways as we tackle the negative impact of this retail revolution, but sometimes it is not the offer that is at fault. 

There are times when we all need to take a deep breath and acknowledge that other things are at play. Sometimes it is not the supply side of the business equation but the demand side that is restricting sales.

The last few days in the Upper Market have shown remarkable differences in consumer reaction. Thursday was generally considered a good trading day with good crowds and a number of traders reporting the best sales in some time. It led some to speculate that interstate school holidays that started later than Victoria were starting to feed interstate visitors into the market.

Friday had good crowds in the Upper Market (in fact one trader complained he had difficulty getting his stock trolley through the crowd around mid-day), but many reported poor business, and the momentum from Thursday was not sustained. Saturday was a real conundrum because there were huge crowds in Queen St. with long queues at many of the food outlets, but business in the Upper market was poor.

A couple of traders have reported that their sales have been dominated by international buying this week, one saying that every single customer on Saturday was international (and he wasn’t selling souvenirs).

There are obviously many factors currently impacting on customer buying patterns. We know that we need to spread our influence as wide as possible these days and things like websites and social media can help. We may need to re-examine our trading hours as suggested by CEO Stan Liacos. In particular we need to communicate with our customers, understand what they are looking for, and keep our product range relevant. 

Assuming we are doing all those things, there is no sense in beating ourselves up over days when sales are poor. The customer is the master, and they can be fickle. That is just part of modern retailing.

22/04/2018 22:24:27      Market Traders it's not you         "Many traders have many opinions on many subjects. However with all the uncertainty over the past few years should we just control what we can control and concentrate our energy & focus on the customers we do get."