Sunday 10 June 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 10/6/2018

Bumper Start To Winter Night Market – apologies for going over the top with the size of our heading but good news is so rare in retailing these days that we want to shout this from the rooftops. Apparently over 30,000 consumers attended the first Wednesday night of the new season and every trader that we spoke to, said business was brisk. We expect that with food, but when it translates to Specialty Merchandise as well, that is great.

State Of Origin A Fizzer? The combination of a Rugby League State of Origin football match on Wednesday night in Melbourne and the long weekend would normally be expected to create a significant sales boost in the Upper Market but few traders are seeing a blip in their sales. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday sales were generally ho-hum. Let’s hope for a Saturday, Sunday recovery.

State of Customer Buying – one of our sock sellers thinks he may have had a customer experience that sums up consumer thinking right now. He had a NZ customer over for the Wednesday night Rugby match with his mates who wanted to but a gift to take home to his wife as appreciation for letting him take a mates trip to Oz. The gift? – one pair of socks. Let’s hope she is easily satisfied.

Trader’s Social Hub – one of our traders is wondering if the idea for a central meeting place where traders could meet and engage with mentors has been shelved. Apparently it was proposed for an offsite location which was always going to create a problem for stall-bound traders. The trader attendance at the mentoring session in the Food Court a couple of weeks ago was poor (one report said only 6 traders turned up). Traders love the idea of socialising together, but maybe when you come down to it, we have other things to do including family and business responsibilities.

Time Poor Small Businesses – on a similar theme we had a couple of Night Market Traders explaining the impact on their sleeping and work practices. Getting home around midnight on Wednesday, sometimes replacing stock, then getting up early the next morning for Thursday trading can stretch physical and mental resources to the limit. Of course, a good night’s trading is great compensation.

Damaging Our Brand - a trader asks if we shouldn't make more effort to fill empty stall spaces. Customers notice these things.

Traders Behaving Badly – We were sent this photo of a display that transgresses stall boundaries and whilst the temptation to “enhance” individual displays is evident around the market, this one takes place at the first stall in the aisle so little advantage can be gained. It does however block a major aisle entrance in F Shed where line of sight is important. 
The second photo is of a storage box sitting in the middle of the K shed aisle at 9:15 on a Saturday morning with a considerable crowd already trying to move through the aisle. The stall is a long way from being set up whilst all the neighbours are ready for business. 
A couple of traders have suggested that these are the types of circumstances that need rule enforcement. What do you think?

Expand The Night Market – okay, it is early days, but the positive start to the Winter Night Market has traders asking why we can’t extend the market past F Shed and take in the open spaces in E, D, and C. It has been suggested that sales hungry traders would queue up immediately to pay for night stalls and if that helps the bottom line for both traders and the market, it certainly seems worthy of consideration.

More Focused Communication - traders may have noticed that management emails have become more common and now we are receiving SMS's giving a heads up on specific market matters. As one trader said - "If it means I don't miss important notifications, that is good." 

11/06/2018 08:52:40      Stallholders behaving badly (Pic 1)       "Hopefully can be fixed by Sunday,
 sadly was not resolved yesterday ,
3 meters from the F1 office,
A danger to pedestrians etc,
Has been reported at least twice,
Ought to have easily resolved ,
Let’s all enjoy equally what the QVM offers to all"  Befuddled     
Thanks for your comment. Agree, should be easy to fix - Ed.