Monday, 16 December 2019

Best Christmas Ads For 2019

The race to appeal to the heartstrings (and wallets) of consumers at Christmas time produces some pretty amazing Christmas advertisements and 2019 is no exception.

We have picked just two but pour yourself a cuppa, sit down and get ready for a couple of feature length advertisements that are pretty special.

If you are a fan of ET don't miss the second one, and by the way, global listings of this years best commercials often include the Aldi Aussie commercial involving endless ham, but you have already seen that one.


Sunday, 15 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 15/12/2019

Apparently a number of QVM Traders attended a fiery Council meeting on Tuesday which considered a proposal to restrict traffic flow in Queen St. and Franklin St. adjacent to the roundabout. There were reports that security were particularly active during the meeting. There had been suggestions that Queen St. was to be closed under the proposal, but this turned out to be inaccurate. Council approved the new traffic arrangement. 

A Trader tells us QVM’s position on the National Heritage Listing was confirmed by Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg on Thursday. Apparently the listing adds another level of protection to the market with the Federal Environment Department required to assess any significant development plans. QVM joins the MCG, Exhibition Buildings, and Bondi Beach on the list.

One of our Traders has been bold enough to make a retail prediction and because we respect the views of Tony Pierrakos we quote him here – “In the future, Traders who are experiencing loss of sales will need an offset in the form of online websites (with paid advertising) and perhaps a wholesale business if they are to survive. Participation in the Night Market, and an aggressive social media campaign wouldn’t hurt.”

Our bad (but irresistible) joke this week“How does Darth Vader like his Christmas Turkey? – on the dark side.”

A Trader asks why his neighbour insists on placing stock well outside the stall boundary. If all Traders leap frogged like that we would have no aisles at all.

Another Trader asks why some of her neighbours insist on playing loud music. Surely it is polite and good business sense to keep your music within your stall. After all it is called “background” music for good reason.

And while we are on complaints, a Trader asks if anybody has a view on the ruckus caused by the VR booths in J Shed? Apparently young participants are known to scream loudly during the show. Is that good for market buzz, or just an unnecessary distraction that might cause loss of sales for neighbours?

Next week’s forecast heatwave has Traders concerned at the impact on Christmas sales. 

Harris Scarfe Receivership Brings A Sobering Prediction

Harris Scarfe has gone into receivership with the 66 store chain up for sale.

A tough retail year has claimed a number of key retailers including Dimmey’s, Napoleon Perdis, Shoes of Prey, Bardots, and the Co-op Bookshop.

Harris Scarfe has been described as lost in the middle with competitors K-Mart and Big W strong at the lower end of the spectrum and Myer and David Jones struggling at the upper end.

Retail Strategy Consultant, Bill Rooney, said this week -

 "No matter how good you are as a retailer, in 2019 the 40 years and older market is in serious decline and only a major change of strategy and direction will arrest the decline."

Blending Construction With Retailing At QVM

Building construction is an inherently noisy, dirty operation but in retailing areas there are ways of reducing the impact and that can be important for business.

The first stages of Shed renewal at QVM are taking place in C Shed and there have been complaints from Traders about the appearance of the construction zone - wire fencing, vehicles, construction equipment, rubbish and noise are all part of the scene.

There is an argument that activity of this nature can be an attraction, and that presenting a see-through to nearby trading areas is better than a blank wall but maybe they are just excuses for minimising costs. In this case the activity is not very attractive (see photo).

Shopping centres go to great pains to disguise construction areas, leave the focus on surrounding operating areas, whilst explaining what is happening, and creating an expectation of good things to come.

Our situation is a little different because it is not just one or two closed shops but whole areas that are under construction. Signage is the key. Ideally we would give customers a quick clear explanation of what is going on and then guide them to where they wish to go. Current signage does all that but only if the customer is up close. From a distance it is simply an unattractive area that will confuse.

Traders are suggesting we can do better.

QVM In The News - 15/12/2019

The 'Maximum Chips' party will be held during The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival at the Queen Victoria Market on Friday, March 20, 2020.

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is set to launch an 'all-you-can-eat' hot chips party at the Queen Victoria Market on Friday, March 20, 2020 - and ...

I have been buying meat from Harry and Linda at the Queen Vic Market for years. They not only have a great range of local grass-fed beef, but also a ...

While the Queen Victoria Markets have been opening at night for many years, the suburbs are now following suit with a range of first-time night ...

Latest Retail News - 15/12/2019

Latest Retail News - 15/12/2019
1. Harris Scarfe in receivership, up for sale.
2. Pepsi fuses coffee and cola.
3. Nestle sells its  ice cream business for US$4b.
4. ACCC warns of CUB takeover risks.
5. Rural retailers tackle tough times with pop-up market in Sydney’s Martin Place.
6. Taco Bell launches its first Melbourne store with “tram drive thru.”
7. H&M to launch clothing rentals.
8. David Jones returns to luxury retailing in Sydney store.
9. Melbourne Central to offer pop-up returns shop where unwanted gifts are exchanged for centre gift vouchers.
10. Woolworths opens its first sustainable supermarket.
11. IKEA and Nike leave Amazon.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds -8/12/2019

A Trader from the Upper Market says he loves the official description for our Christmas Trading hours on the Tuesday before Christmas “5AM Until Sold Out” but wonders if he can stay on his stall for 3 weeks.

One of our local street beggars proclaimed “good business” on Saturday morning as shoppers spread the Christmas cheer – made a few of our Traders jealous.

Has anyone noticed the fancy little electric cart for on the spot garbage recycling doing the rounds of the market? One Trader commented – “Even the old Vic Market can be high-tech and sustainable.”

A Trader says he received a notice from a Trader group asking for support over the possible closure of Queen St. to traffic. He wasn’t sure if the group was for or against the proposal.

Another Trader has suggested we close off Peel St. between Victoria St. and the Dudley St. roundabout so the top end of the market can have its own pedestrian mall.

A Trader tells us that Sunday morning trade was his worst in 14 years, and considering we are leading in to Christmas, he is worried.

From the “We have too much spare thinking time” file – a Trader is wondering if bananas could be thrown like boomerangs as an aid to hunting customers? Not sure if he wanted to attract or disable them.

A Trader is very impressed that the QVM website has a Chinese translation option and it is not just for the basics like trading hours. A range of information, including trader and business descriptions is translated for Chinese speaking customers.

A Trader who was a little sceptical of our new trading hours was keeping a record of sales after 2:00pm and says Thursday this week produced his first real boost with a number of worthwhile sales between 2:00 and 3:00.

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week“Did you hear that Santa has taken to acting. He has great stage presents.”

And finally this prophetic quote from one of our Traders - “We are really starting all over again in retail. These times are both exciting and scary. If my finances hold out I might enjoy it.”

Shop & Racks For Sale

Andrew Bertuleit is selling his F Shed shop (not his business) and is seeking enquiries from interested parties. Andrew is vacating F Shed Shop 3 in May 2020 and you can contact him on 0429 133 133 or by emailing
Lease allocations are subject to management approval.

Mino Voloder has some brand new racks for sale at well below normal price. Ring Mino on 0425 769 075.

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 8/12/2019
1. Woolworths to defend employee “under payment” claims.
2. Australian distillery Four Pillars Gin wins 2019 International Gin Producer of the Year in London.
3. Chadstone Shopping Centre plans $685m expansion.
4. Tech & supplements top performers in Amazon Black Friday sale.
5. Caltex rejects service station offer from Canadian suitor.
6. The Iconic to focus on sustainability.
7. Smith’s creates Lamington flavoured chip.
8. Australian fashion retailer, Bardot, enters voluntary administration due to a ‘highly cluttered’ and ‘increasingly discount-driven market’.
9. Fashion chain, Glue, opens its biggest store yet.
10. Coles to fork out more of milk profits to farmers following ACCC intervention.
11. Bunnings online marketplace selling appliances and bedding.
12. Asia expected to account for 45% of global retail sales in 2020.

Articles Worth A Read:
The Art Of Retailing -

The Dangers Of Black Friday -

Social Conscience In Retailing -

Concern Over Christmas Buying In 2019

Research by PayPal suggests that changing buying patterns will lead to an overall lower spend this Christmas.

Some key points are:
1. Likely 20% reduction in spending on Christmas.
2. An emphasis on supporting causes like drought relief, mental health, and rural fire services.
3. 73% of Australian consumers prefer Australian made.
4. Kris Kringle has become a staple in one third of Australian families, resulting in fewer gifts.
5. Economic downturn has resulted in more savvy shopping with emphasis on discounts and special events.

Read the full article in Inside Retailing here – Aussies Buying Fewer More Purposeful Gifts

QVM In The News - 8/12/2019

... owner of Gazza's Gourmet Seafood at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market. ... Sydney Fish Market tour guide and educator Alex Stollznow said those ...
Both events will be held at the Queen Victoria Market, the headquarters of the festival in 2020. It's also where you can catch talks and demonstrations ...
The City of Melbourne says it has found work for 15 cleaners who were made redundant after Queen Victoria Market changed cleaning contractors last ...
MFWF at Queen Vic Market
In March 2020, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is making Queen Vic Market its home. Over 10 days, there will be parties, workshops, dinners, ...
A dozen workers at the iconic market have been left devastated at discovering they would be out of a job, just weeks out from Christmas. Three others ...

From The Archives - Funny Shop Signs

This article from July 2015 attracted a big readership and remains on our list of all time popular posts.

Here is a collection of shop signs found on the internet this week. Send us yours, especially if found in the market.


And finally this sign next to a coffee shop tip jar - 
"Thanks a latte."

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 1/12/2019

A number of Traders have commented positively on the news that QVM is to be the hub of next year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. One Trader said ”How could you hold it anywhere else? This is Melbourne’s food place.”

A report this week suggested that students unable to attend school because of illness could send along a robot to record classes. A Trader asks if the idea could be extended to serving at market stalls?

A Trader tells us that while some QVM Traders are urging for longer lease/license periods there are some retailers in the wider retail sector seeking shorter than 5 year terms so they can maintain flexibility.

A number of Traders have received early Christmas cards this week. It turns out that they all came from longtime customers Robert & Maggie who shop most weeks at the market and will soon be retiring to a coastal town in eastern Victoria. Giving Christmas cards is not normal customer behaviour but Robert & Maggie are pretty special. They will be missed.

A Trader returned recently from a trip to Vietnam where he noticed the rise of supermarkets since his last visit. He said food was cheaper outside the supermarkets but consumers seemed to like the price stability and the consistent quality.

One of our food Traders in the upper market got a bit of a shock this week when advised his rent would rise significantly. There can always be a potential for conflict between managements view of the value of a site and a Trader’s view of its profit potential. Let’s hope this one sorts out OK.

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week continues the tape measure theme – “A sad tape measure went to his friend for encouragement saying “I just don’t feel like I measure up….” His friend responded “Don’t worry, you’re just over extended.”

A Trader liked a quote he heard this week which relates to the retail revolution – “There is no path – We are all trailblazers.”

Last week’s article about banning Trader parking outside stalls caused one Trader to comment – “We need an alternative cost effective option and some surety. Remove the current quota system for the market car park, and guarantee all legitimate Traders a spot, and maybe we can live with a fee.”

Is This QVMs Best Ever Brochure?

The QVM Christmas Gift Guide 2019 is a well put together publication that many Traders believe raises the bar on previous promotions.
 Aided by glossy quality paper and printing, this year’s brochure is in a handy format that encourages portability and use.

The photos are professional and the mix of quality products and Traders (great looking Traders at that) seems just right.
 Apparently the take-up by Traders this year was strong, and if the quality of this publication is a guide, we can expect more involvement in future.

A number of Traders have found the brochure useful in advising customers of Christmas options around the market, and one jokes that it would be ideal for disguising mobile phone gaming (absolutely disgraceful - Ed).

If you haven’t seen the Christmas Gift Guide yet we suggest you call at F1 on Queen St. You might also put a note in your diary for next year to make sure your business is part of the promotion.

Latest Retail News – 1/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 1/12/2019
1. Oxfam names and shames retailers it says are not meeting worker wage commitments.
2. Caltex considers $8.6b takeover offer from Canadian convenience store chain.
3. Coke & Pepsi join push for sugar reduction.
4. JB HiFi launches small store concept in Melbourne CBD.
5. The Co-operative Bookshop enters voluntary administration.
6. Priceline Pharmacy launches click’n’collect.
7. Collins Foods (KFC etc.) half year profit up 9%.
8. Womenswear retailer, Bardots, appoints administrators, seeks sale.

Articles Worth A Read:
Three Cool Retailers Worth A Look -

Body Language Tips To Make You More Persuasive -

Sneakers Are On The Rise In Fashion -

QVM In The News - 1/12/2019

At least a dozen cleaners have been left without a job after Queen Victoria Market (QVM) decided to change cleaning contractors just four weeks ...
Three twilight and night markets to check out in Victoria ... Night markets are nothing new to Queen Vic Market – in the coldest winter nights, we still ...
By Spencer Fowler Steen. Fears have been expressed that Queen Victoria Market (QVM) will lose business due to the proposed closure of the existing ...
The 141-year-old Queen Victoria Market will become the new festival hub and will host a series of signature events, plus talks and presentations led ...

Thinking Of Selling Your Stall?

A few weeks back we published an article titled "Selling Your Stall? Don't Sell Yourself Short." It urged Traders to consider the true value of their business before launching into a sale. Businesses at QVM have been notoriously undersold over the years and maybe it is time we became more professional about this important process.

Well, SBMS have decided to take the subject a step further and engage an expert in small business saleability to assist Traders through a Question & Answer session on Wednesday 15th January 2020.

Here are the details -  

If you are thinking of selling in the next year….
Come along to a Q & A Session
On Wednesday 15th January 2020

More than 50% of Exits are INVOLUNTARY.
More than 70% of Business Owners have NOT THOUGHT ABOUT IT = no exit strategy.

Without fully investigating the value that has been built up over all the years, you may be potentially throwing away all your blood, sweat and tears, and not-to-mention, your hard-fought time and hard-earned money, for nothing.

Is your business in good shape for sale?

This is your opportunity to ask any questions about selling your business, for example, how do I work out what my business may be worth? (Don't forget to write down your questions before the event). Denise can help you facilitate freedom from your Business no longer serving your purpose with strictly confidential SBMS mentoring.

Date: Wednesday 15th January 2020
Time: 11am - 1pm  Includes a light lunch
Venue: Board Room, Trader Lounge (266 Victoria Street)
*** Please note registration is required for catering.
RSVP by 9th January 2020 to, tel Madalen on 1300 631 171 or register online

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 24/11/2019

The first Summer Night Market was opened officially by Lord Mayor Sally Capp on Wednesday Night with a few special guests in attendance including ex CFO Vic Ailakis and ex Board Chairman, Paul Guerra.

Retail can be cruel – Thursday’s special shopping day for attendees of the Jehovah’s Witness conference was one of the hottest and windiest November days on record with a number of Traders forced to shut up shop. All reports suggest that those who were able to trade recorded good sales.

A customer visiting from the Jehovah’s Witness conference called in at F1 asking staff if the bag they had just purchased was made from real leather as claimed by the Trader. Staff decided the bag was unlikely to be made of leather particularly as it had cost only $20. We understand that a Precinct Manager intervened to assist the customer with a satisfactory resolution.

Traders have questioned the placement of the new bollards up on Peel St. including one directly in front of a Traders stall. We understand the placement of bollards is in accordance with the latest crime intelligence on public place intrusions.

A number of Traders have commented on the influx of new Traders in the market including a high-tech Artificial Intelligence movie booth. Filling the gaps is most welcome.

A Trader commented that Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg’s, call for Australians to work longer is already being adopted by many QVM Traders. Once again we are ahead of the pack.

A few Traders have noticed that our esteemed cleaner, Guru Pete, has lost considerable weight recently as he continues to work on his health. And the good news is that the Guru will be part of the new team taking over the cleaning contract at the market.

String Bean Alley has a great community feeling amongst its Traders and when Ronnie Z handed out free juices to his neighbours during the 36 degree heat on Wednesday evening he got a gold star. Thanks Ronnie.

With Trader Lee recently suffering broken fingers, his nephew on crutches, and Trader David recovering from a wrist injury, Traders are asking if Watches & Clocks is the most dangerous category in our market.

A Trader reported on Thursday that she knew when the wind changed direction that afternoon because stock that had blown out of her stall in the morning, blew back in from the car park later in the day – true story.

This week's bad (but irresistible) joke - "Did you hear about the tape measure who scaled Mount Everest .... he went to extraordinary lengths."

A few Traders commented on how pleasant and respectful the Jehovah’s Witness customers were.  "They can come back anytime."

Do We Need A Closer Look At Trader Parking?

The special QVM bulletin put out this week could result in higher parking costs for many Traders and maybe it is the right time to look at the question of Trader parking in more detail.

From January, Traders who park in RK/RL and L sheds on Tuesday’s or Thursdays will need to find somewhere else to park their vehicles as the area will be activated for trading. In fact the bulletin states that there will be no more parking under the sheds except by Traders in their own stalls. Presumably that will affect those who previously parked in B to E Shed laneways as well.

And before we move on let’s identify a clear conflict of intent here. It has been a view by many (Traders and management) that Trader’s vehicles should not be parked in stalls if we want to maintain a professional retail appearance at QVM.

But for Traders needing alternative parking, car parks around the market have been nominated as alternatives (see list of alternative car parks below).  The problem is they all cost money. Early bird rates start at around $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday rates are generally around $10. For 5 day Traders the costs will mount up.

Why do Traders need parking? Market trading is unique, particularly in regard to limited trading space and storage. Many Traders (probably most Traders) replenish stock daily. And many Traders, certainly in the Upper Sheds, do not get the luxury of normal supplier deliveries either because they move locations from day to day or don’t have the space to unpack and allocate stock. Stock is delivered to homes or warehouses and then brought into the market.

So, a vehicle is an essential tool of trading. You cannot deliver stock via public transport (although there was a wallet trader a few years ago who carried all his stock in a suitcase on the train). For most Traders a vehicle is not a convenience, it is a necessary part of doing business at QVM.

We currently have a voucher system that allows Traders a discounted parking rate on weekdays ($12) but vouchers are not available on Saturday and Sunday when we dedicate our car park to customers. Vouchers are also available to city workers, a sort of Early Bird system at QVM. (*) The problem is that availability is not based on time but on a strictly rationed quota. As an example, Friday vouchers are usually exhausted by 7:30 am and Traders who arrive after that time have to make alternative arrangements or pay full price for parking.

There are a few things to consider here –
-        Should Traders who are using vehicles for stock replenishment be provided with car parking?
-        Should the voucher system be extended to all authorized Traders regardless of time of entry (in other words scrap the quota system)?
-        Should QVM Traders get preference over city workers? (*)
-        At what level do parking rates become prohibitive for Traders? A 5 day Trader who takes Early Bird parking outside the market could spend around $70 per week – a significant cost in tough times.

It would seem that more discussion is needed on this subject and your thoughts are welcome.

* Correction: "Vouchers are not available to city workers. They are only available to QVM traders and there is system in place to ensure they are only given to traders. The early bird prices referred to for city workers are on non-Market days only and no voucher is given, it’s based on the entry and exit time of the vehicle as per standard early bird prices."

Alternative Car Parks Near QVM:
Wilson Parking - 380 Latrobe St. (Entry via A’Beckett St.)
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 10:00pm
Early Bird $18.00 (Mon-Fri in 6am-10am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun 7:00am - 10:00pm - Flat Rate $10.00 (Sun) $11.00 (Sat)

CBD Park - 58 Franklin St.
Early Bird $16.00 (in 5:30am-9:30am out 2pm-12am)
Sat-Sun - $12.00

SMA (Kim Lim) 162 A’Beckett St.
Mon-Fri 6:00am - 8:00pm
Sat 7:00am - 6:00pm
Early Bird $13.00 (Mon,Wed In by 9:30am out 2pm-8pm)
Early Bird $16.00 (Mon-Fri In by 10am out 2pm-8pm)

The Mint Car Park 383 Latrobe St.
Early Bird $19.00 (Mon-Fri in 7am-10am out 3pm-9pm)
Sat-Sun - All day Flat Rate $10.00

NOTE: This information has been taken from websites. Check with Car Parks for any special conditions.