Sunday 29 July 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 28/7/2018

Greater Co-operation – a few traders have mentioned how our busy Precinct Managers, referring particularly to Peter & Russell, are seemingly more willing to say “Yes” these days. They are talking about things like stall transfers. Whatever the reason, making it easier for traders to adjust their businesses in tough times, is most welcome.

Colourful Bollards   a few traders have praised the bollard covers down on Queen St. saying they are colourful and useful (see separate article).

Storage Boxes – storage boxes are essential pieces of infrastructure for traders but they won’t win any beauty competitions. Boxes like this one placed on the footpath at the top of String Bean Alley are the cause of complaints simply because they restrict line of sight and add nothing to the look of the market. We understand that more work is being done on painting boxes to make them more appealing. Maybe this one should be first on the list.

Pink Concerts – Pink’s fans are evident in our market but perhaps they are not having the same impact as last time around. With tickets reportedly costing around $300, perhaps it is no wonder fans don’t a have a lot to shop with.

Red Moon – one trader (no names) admitted that he was admiring this beautiful natural phenomena  through the trees early Saturday morning when he realise he was looking at an orange street lamp in the next street. Another asked that if a full moon brings out strange creatures (we think he was talking about market customers) what would a full eclipse bring? We are not sure if he got his answer.

QVM Heritage – a pop-up shop on Victoria St. is highlighting some wonderful old photos of the market, many of which had been languishing on the walls of the market office. The display at 141 Victoria St. is only there until 5th August but worth a visit between 10:30 and 1:00.

30/07/2018 10:54:10      Pink Concert            "Just had my best weekend in a while and I am crediting it to Pink. A diverse group of customers from interstate who don't often come to Melbourne and found the market offer enticing. No sophisticated market research but based on customer comments."
Thanks for the feedback - Ed

Latest Retail News – 28/7/2018

Latest Retail News – 28/7/2018
1. Sumo Salad appoints administrators.
2. Doughnut Times new owners plan relaunch.
3. David Jones posts disappointing sales result.
4. Zara to launch re-cycled clothing program in China.
5. Temple & Webster reaches profitable trading.
6. Starbucks opens coffee shop for deaf people.
7. Aldi have most satisfied customers.
8. Kogan nearly doubles earnings.
9. UK’s Poundworld unable to find a saviour.
10. Australia Post invests $300m in new parcel handling process.
11. American Apparel declares bankruptcy.
12. 7-Eleven opens un-staffed store in China.
13. Last Toys’R’Us stores close in August.
14. Tory Burch to open in Australia.
15. LVMH reports strong first half.

Dick Smith Foods Closes – Dick Smith has reluctantly stopped  his food operation while commentators suggest the consumer preference for price over quality made it inevitable.

Amazon’s top sellers include these 36 items under $15.00 –

Starbucks was a massive failure in Australia because Australians appreciate good coffee –

With Toys’R’Us gone who will be selling all the toys (in USA) –

QVM In The News - 28/7/2018

Melbourne's Queen Victoria market and Sydney's fish markets have joined internationally acclaimed markets around the world to form a &quot ...
Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market has been added to the national heritage list, following a nomination from the City of Melbourne in 2015. Federal ...
THE board of Queen Victoria Market has effectively been sidelined as Melbourne City Council tries to salvage its troubled $250 million redevelopment ...
Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market will be added to the National Heritage List. Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg announced ...
Melbourne tourist-icon, the Queen Victoria Market will be added to the National Heritage List. Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh ...
A new winter beer oasis will pop up at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market every Saturday and Sunday from 4 August to 9 September 2018. Over six ...

Beautiful Bollards At QVM


 Concrete bollards look pretty sterile in the raw and although they have a serious purpose they don’t exactly brighten up the surroundings.

But QVM have managed to turn a boring terrorist deterrent into a colourful feature and made them useful as well. The brightly coloured covers on these bollards in Queen St. also act as signposts for different market precincts.

 Concrete bollards are just not friendly but this is a transformation we can all feel comfortable with.

New Tradition Creates Business Opportunity

Our market florists are usually busy on a Saturday but this weekend's queues drew a bit of attention and it turns out that a special event is the reason.

This is a weekend of RMIT Graduations and it is a practise, particularly in Asian communities, to give flowers at graduation. 

Whatever the reason it is great to see customers doing what they do best - buying quality goods at QVM.

(Thanks to Mino for the photo.)

Have Your Say - click here.

The Perfect Trader For The Committee of Trustees

The ink had hardly dried on Lord Mayor, Sally Capp’s, announcement of a Committee of Trustees to advise on QVM matters before names were being thrown about as to which trader(s) should be on the committee. At the end of this article we have picked our best choice.

The politically active groups were off at a run and even the Union is reported to have expressed its views. Not that there is anything wrong with that. This is an important and welcome innovation for traders and selecting the right candidates is equally important.

If you think about it, this committee will need some pretty special people. It will be considering important and complex issues. QVM is a complex place. There are many different aspects to consider - different products, different customers, different ways of operating our businesses. What most traders will want is candidates who have the capacity, and desire to treat each issue on its merits, put in the time to evaluate, and seek wider trader input, before advising in committee.

So that got us thinking about what might be desirable qualities for a trader candidate –
1. A balanced outlook – any strong anti or pro attitudes may limit serious consideration of important issues so an open, inquisitive mind is probably important here.

2. Entrepreneurship – this is retailing, and ultimately the level of business at QVM will determine all our futures. We need to grasp opportunities, as they arise.

3. Glass half full/half empty – following on from the previous points is the need to balance our approach to new concepts. Saying “no” is safe but get’s you nowhere and saying “yes” without considering all the consequences is equally dangerous. Fortunately, many of the propositions put to this committee will have expert advice to back them.

4. Homework – an ideal candidate will put in the hard work on issues, seek outside advice, particularly from impacted traders, but not handball to someone else.

5.Superpowers – Yes, being responsible for 600 traders in a retail revolution, compounded by renewal, is a daunting task for any mortal being and our candidates may need super powers.

Which brings us to our choice for a trader candidate.

It is Market Man. This caped crusader (reported to be Superman’s cousin) appeared on these pages a few years back, and is dedicated to righting wrongs at QVM. He may be just the right choice to represent traders on a Committee of Trustees.

Now, we have introduced Market Man for a bit of fun but we don't want to diminish the importance of this process. We have not been asked to submit names for the committee and the term “expressions of interest” in the official text is vague enough to make it unclear just how this will work, but that shouldn’t stop all of us from thinking and talking about who might be most suitable. 

The Committee of Trustees is an excellent idea and getting productive representatives in place will be very important.

Have Your Say - click here.

29/07/2018 16:29:14      Market Man            "Can't we have a non-gendered super hero -  Rippa Retailer or Tenacious Trader etc etc "
Great names! - Ed.

30/07/2018 08:29:30      Market 'Man'          "Having spoken with Market 'Man' I can tell you that he feels gender neutral but he identifies more as a male. Hopefully you can respect that position "           MM
Understood - thank you for responding MM - Ed.

A Win For Transparency

The announcement of the formation of a Committee of Trustees (including three market traders) to provide strategic advice to Council is expected to be welcomed by market traders.

Few things irritate traders more than being involved in decision making at grass roots level and then watching issues disappear into the void of management/Board/ City of Melbourne decision making to appear at the other end without adequate explanation. Indeed, a criticism of the renewal process is that the proposed benefits have not been properly sold to the trader group.

It is expected that Sally Capp’s Committee of Trustees will provide traders with an opportunity for evaluation and strategic advice at an appropriate stage in the decision making process. The official description for the committee is “The highest source of advice to Council on Renewal and Operations.”

QVM Renewal is a critically important process for the market. Transparency, understanding and meaningful involvement will be key elements to achieving a great outcome for Traders, the City, and our customers.

By Greg Smith

New Organisational Structure At QVM

The City of Melbourne is proposing a new governance structure for QVM which will incorporate Lord Mayor, Sally Capp’s, vision of a trustee committee.

The Committee of Trustees is to provide strategic advice to Council and will be chaired by the Lord Mayor, with ten members comprising three market traders, two community representatives, two independent nominees and a further two councillors. Expressions of interest will be sought for those vacancies.

It is intended that the committee will meet 6 times per year. The current operational structure of the market will continue although the QVM Board will be reduced in number. Board members retiring at the next AGM will not be replaced. The Board will continue to perform its important legal obligations in overseeing the market, and will be strengthened with the CEO of the City of Melbourne taking a seat.

The new governance proposal is to be put to Council next Tuesday 31st. July.

Link to Media Release - QVM Governance

Monday 23 July 2018

Trader Bulletin Gets Better And Better

The QVM Trader Bulletin has a chequered history but recent versions seem to provide really useful and timely advice for traders.

In years past many Trader Bulletins ended up on the market floor, often unread. They were viewed as irrelevant and largely propaganda and were probably one of the reasons why this website came into existence. Victraders was set up to better inform traders and provide a voice.

But things have changed and the latest Bulletin (Issue #14) has a lot of useful and timely information including -
-          An update on the Trader Awards including a revision to the number of awards made in the dominant General Merchandise category.
-         Relevant new market events including the arrival of our own brewing precinct.
-         News items including QVM’s role in the “Magnificent Seven” market alliance.
-         An update on the all important lighting for H&I Sheds. It does help for customers to see our produce in its full glory.
-         Reminders of what is happening around the market including the closure of the Queen St. toilet block, and the arrival of decorated bollards.
-         The latest on TRC happenings and Trader survey updates, including the decision to close on New Years Eve.
-         What’s On in Melbourne including those all important concert listings that can have a big impact on our crowds.

There is a lot of useful information there and you can receive it in a variety of ways including hard copy, via email, and sometimes with alerts via SMS. 

And Traders can comment and give feedback by emailing

We think it has improved a lot, what do you think?

Have Your Say – click here. 

Sunday 22 July 2018

Heard Under The Sheds – 22/7/2018

We are  a tough lot -  a trader who survived a major 5 hour heart operation on Thursday managed to pick up his mobile and ring a colleague at 6:30am Saturday morning to check how business was going at the market. John’s friends and colleagues will be pleased to know that he is recovering well.

Adding To The Crowd – check out this photo of one of our traders and particularly the small figure standing in front of his stall. It is said that you need a crowd to create a buying mood and this trader has found a unique way to get the crowd started. Yep, that is not a real person.

An Important Trader Meeting – this meeting in String Bean Alley had all the hallmarks of an important event. There were even refreshments provided. And, what could be more important than the World Cup which prompted the handing out of awards to those traders clever enough or lucky enough to choose winning teams.
The trio photo shows organiser Tony Pierrakos, David who drew France as the winning team, and Linh who had a double-whammy drawing second placed Croatia, and also the top goal scorer. Yakov who drew the third placegetter was also in attendance and everybody enjoyed the “free” cakes, although one trader pointed out the cakes were paid for by the losers so were not technically free. It is hard to feel charitable when you have lost.

Awards Night - one of our traders questioned whether traders waiting on license renewals were eligible for trader awards in the upcoming awards night. We can confirm that all license holders are eligible including those who are waiting for renewals. Apparently your current license continues to operate until it is renewed or formally terminated.

Articles Worth A Read – 22/7/2018

What Is Bootstrapping? And Why Should I Do It?
This article on Smart Company describes a process that most Market Traders have experienced already, but it doesn’t hurt to revisit the concept particularly if you have a new idea up your sleeve.

Six Customer Service Mistakes That Drive Customers Crazy.
Another article from Smart Company and I am willing to bet that you made some of these mistakes at some time.

Is It Too Easy To Return Goods?
This article in the Age questions whether slack return policies are damaging retail.

Fashion Flops As Food Dominates
Another Age article that examines the sorting out of shopping strips and the swing towards food and entertainment.

Latest Retail News - 22/7/2018

Retail News – 22/7/2018
1. Burberry destroys more than A$50m of goods to avoid price denigration.
2. World Cup Soccer and heatwave severely reduces clothing and non-food spend in UK.
3. Amazon’s Prime Day sale a big hit in USA not so much in Australia.
4. Target US have best online sale day this year on Prime Day.
5. 2 hour delivery expected to be the norm by 2028.
6. Website crash plagues Australia’s Amazon Pride Day.
7. Suburban retail vacancies reach 10 year high.
8. David Jones partners with Disney.
9. Huggies and Finish in top Prime Day performers.
10. McDonalds to phase out plastic straws.
11. Rockmans ranks highest on customer service.
12. Coles to roll out smaller neighbourhood stores focused on health foods and artisan products.

QVM Features In Inside Retail Article About Magnificent Seven Markets

QVM has featured as one of the "Magnificent Seven" global markets that are uniting to share expertise and knowledge.  This type of co-operative effort is seen as an important ingredient as markets transition in a retail revolution and sell their advantages to global consumers.

The article features quotes from QVM CEO, Stan Liacos, and can be found at this link -

Have Your Say - click here.

You Don't Get This In A Department Store

Trader Mino, has highlighted the sort of service that websites and department stores struggle to provide their customers. The specialised and personalised service that Mino has given this customer can only be found at places like QVM.

Our pictures shows the fitting of one of Mino's high quality leather bags for a wheelchair bound customer who, judging from this photo, takes considerable pride in their appearance and the functionality of their gear.

Perhaps there are two things we can take from this - 
1. Personal service is a trump card for QVM Traders.
2. Advertising the event through social media is a smart move.

And just on that second point, if you have a business facebook page, please send us a link. We will be happy to promote here and on extra facebook  channels to help maximise your exposure.

Have Your Say - click here.

Newsflash - QVM Gains National Heritage Listing.

QVM has achieved prestigious National Heritage Listing in a move started some years ago by CoM.

Our picture shows Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Federal Minister for the Environment Josh Frydenberg making the announcement today at the market.

Here is the press release that came with the announcement.

Heritage honour for Queen Victoria Market
 Sunday 22 July 2018 
 The Queen Victoria Market has been added to the National Heritage List, recognising the significant place it holds in Australian history and providing further impetus for renewal and refurbishment of our nation’s iconic fresh produce market.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp today joined Federal Minister for the Environment Josh Frydenberg to announce the listing at the bustling market. 
The Lord Mayor said the significant $250 million investment by the City of Melbourne in the Queen Victoria Market renewal will complement the National Heritage List by protecting the values and history that underpin the market’s heritage recognition. 

“Through renewal, we will be protecting the very things the National Heritage List recognises and the significant place the market now holds in Australian history. This means preserving the market’s long history, restoring its heritage buildings and securing its place as a traditional open-air market, which our research has reinforced, is incredibly important to everyone who experiences the market. 

“It is also about getting the balance right and investing in safe, efficient and sustainable trader and customer facilities so we can secure the market’s viability, while ensuring the market continues to always remain authentic.

“We are committed to protecting the heritage of the market and the respectful acknowledgment of the former cemetery, so that’s why we nominated the market for the National Heritage List in the first place. The heritage listing and renewal can exist side-by-side and both are incredibly important.

The City of Melbourne first nominated the market for inclusion on the National Heritage List in 2015, and Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she was delighted that the market now had the recognition it deserved.

“The Queen Victoria Market is the largest intact 19th century market in Australia and also the site of our city’s first cemetery. The national listing is well deserved and recognises the significant role and value that both play in our national history.” 

“We hope today’s announcement provides certainty to people once and for all, that the renewal will stay true to what people love about the Queen Victoria Market, but we need to make significant investment now to secure its future,” the Lord Mayor said.

The National Heritage List puts the market alongside 113 other Australian icons from the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the Great Ocean Road.

The National Heritage List recognises the market’s links to the early colonial population of Melbourne and its ability to demonstrate the principal characteristics of a 19th century metropolitan produce market. 

Stan Liacos, CEO of the Queen Victoria Market said that he was delighted with the National Heritage List. 
“All who work, shop and visit the market know how special it is. This is welcomed recognition for our traders and market community of the important role that the market has had throughout Melbourne’s history and continues to play in our community.”

A pop-up display has been set up at 141 Victoria St. to highlight the significance of the market's heritage listing and will be open each market day 10:00am - 1:00pm until 5th August.

Have Your Say - click here.

Melbourne tourist-icon, the Queen Victoria Market will be added to the National Heritage List. Federal Environment and Energy Minister Josh ...
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Amazon Focuses On Delivery

The on-going roller coaster (or is it road roller) that is Amazon continues to introduce new strategies as it raises the bar on serving customers with a big dose of convenience.

Our picture at the top is a grand piece of marketing, but Amazon do actually have a retail presence in the Himalayas.

Back in the USA they have introduced another new shopping service – car delivery. Amazon have a home delivery service that allows them to leave goods inside the front door of homes and now they will deliver to the boot or back seat of selected automotive branded cars. Not everybody will be keen on the security implications of these services but the convenience factor seems undeniable.

Banning Plastic Bags And Customer Psychology

The public backlash to the plastic bag ban in supermarkets has raised an interesting dynamic in consumer attitudes and could give lessons for QVM.

The psychology of the plastic bag ban seemed simple enough. Plastic bags are damaging our environment and we need to find alternatives. Public sentiment supported that view but there was a simpler public contract being disturbed in the background. This resulted in supermarkets having to delay their ban and introduce compromises to help customers through the transition.

The “public contract” was explained in an article in The Conversation as customers saying - “I will shop with Supermarket A and they will provide me with free carry bags.” That changed with the ban. Supermarkets were no longer having to pay for bags, the customers were. To add fuel to the fire, if supermarkets were so interested in reducing plastic use, why were they all wrapping small parcels of fruit and vegetables in plastic before placing them on the shelves?

The supermarkets were forced to introduce some changes to the introduction of a plastic bag ban including -
-     Delaying the cut-off date.
-     Selling reusable bags cheaply.
-     Giving away reusable bags in the critical changeover days.
-     Offering free exchanges on reusable bags into the future.
-     It should be noted that the major supermarkets did react very quickly, a sure sign that their data collecting and feedback systems are working well.

We probably learned two things from this exercise -
1.     Never underestimate the complexities of shopper psychology.
2.     Be ready to modify and change very quickly to accommodate unexpected reactions.

Maybe some lessons for QVM.

Have Your Say – click here.