Sunday 29 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds - 29/12/2019

A number of Traders were happy with trade during the special Monday pre-Christmas market, saying the “buzz” was clearly evident.

“Just like the good old days” - was the comment from some Traders as the volume of international and interstate tourists rose and sales spiked following the Christmas/Boxing Day break.

Return of cash - the influx of tourists brought a rise in cash payments rather than card, with many traders running out of change. One Trader suggested it was the once-a-year travellers adopting old habits whereas seasoned travellers have pretty much converted to electronic payments.

“Let’s not get too excited” said a Trader. “We might have a bit of a sales spike, but it is coming off a very low base. There is still a lot of work to do.”

A Trader asks why we can’t have a Black Friday sale at the market. Black Friday is not exclusively online and has clearly become a key component of the global annual sales program.

Siren’s at the market. Police and Ambulance sirens are common around our city but this one from an antique fire truck caught plenty of attention up on Peel St.

Our bad (but irresistible) joke of the week – “Did you hear the Traders Lounge was supposed to be getting a gym? Sorry, it didn’t work out”.

One Trader is mystified by the number of post Christmas stall vacancies around the Upper Market. “Don’t Traders understand that post Christmas can be better than pre Christmas at QVM as tourists hit town for the holidays?”

A customer from Hong Kong said it was nice to shop in Melbourne without the fear of the protests that have seriously interrupted retail trade in his home city.

Why Was Monday Business So Good At QVM?

Monday 23rd December was a special market day and the Upper Market experienced good sales.   The timing, just before Christmas, was a key factor but there were other reasons for strong sales and maybe we need to look at those.

This was a unique market centred around D - E sheds. It was specially curated for the occasion, and maybe curation is the most important ingredient here. Traders were allocated stalls to give good balance and make the most of their displays. Without the restrictions of historical stall allocation it was easier for Precinct Managers to create a cohesive market without gaps - the mystical “buzz” that all Traders look for was evident.

The special Monday market followed on from a similarly successful Monday market on Christmas Eve in 2018.

A couple of our Traders were asked why they thought business was good. One said it was a comparatively small market so more customers per Trader means better sales.  Another suggested it was a combination of things - timing, marketing, and no stall gaps.  This Trader added that Traders seemed to put in a bit extra effort on presentation and merchandising, possibly because this was a fresh opportunity, in a new location.

Freshness, no gaps, and a little extra effort - so how do we create those conditions more often in the Upper Market?

Latest Retail News – 29/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 29/12/2019
1. NRA predicts biggest ever Boxing Day spend.
2. Caltex to revert to Ampol brand for its service stations.
3. Three customers taken to hospital after crowd crush at Westfield Christmas Eve promotion in Sydney.
4. Customers queue from 5am Boxing Day in Bourke St. mall.
5. Sustainability seen as major new force in creating consumer sales.
6. Myer’s EFTPOS system crashes on Boxing Day.

Articles Worth A Read:
Shift away from physical gift purchases -

Australian Coffee is world famous -

Avoiding retail staff abuse -

QVM In The News - 29/12/2019

... the Queen Victoria Market, Kardinia Park, the Flemington spring racing carnival, and through the City of Melbourne, security contracts for Moomba, ...
This Victoria St pub has been a favourite watering hole for Queen Victoria Market traders and customers alike since the late 1800s. The Australian ...
December 24, 2019. The Queen Victoria market in Melbourne sees thelLast minute seafood rush before Christmas. (AAP Video/Alex Murray).
The LifeStyler was recently in Melbourne and having woken early decided to visit the Queen Victoria Market. It was just after the 6 am opening and the ...
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes today visited Melbourne's iconic Queen Victoria Market to meet local sellers and producers amid the Christmas ...
Pickett's Deli and Rotisserie will bring the Queen Victoria Market concept to the airport by showcasing Victorian produce and serving travellers the ...

Sunday 22 December 2019

Heard Under The Sheds – 22/12/2019

It was a hot night at Wednesday’s Night Market. Ambulance Officers and Security Staff were busy attending to heat exhausted Traders and customers.

Hot Night 2 – a number of birds were clearly distressed in the heat and one of our Security Officers found time to fill some bollard holes with water to provide relief. Security staff really are a kind bunch.

Hot Night 3 – for many Specialty Traders sales did not really start until after 8:00pm as customers delayed their arrival at the market.

Friday’s scorching heat saw a number of Traders stay away, and many who did trade took advantage of the early finish at 1:00pm. As usual there were some good trading reports but we are not sure if that was because there were fewer competitors or because heat stroke elevates sales estimates.

Some Traders asked why all the new restrictions on Queen St. vehicle access but maybe the heightened police alert on public area safety at Christmas is the clue.

The new bollards on Queen St. certainly attracted attention with one Trader suggesting they looked a bit like toy Meccano pieces. Actually there are videos online showing these exact bollards almost destroying a truck – see link. They appear to be very effective against vehicles.

A Trader says he likes the new QVM paper bags and they appear cost effective but he would like to be able to add his business name to the printing. Can that be done?

Our market is now better mapped. Following a mention in Heard Under The Sheds a few weeks back, the guide map signs around our market have now been re-oriented to reflect directions from each map’s actual location. Customers will be pleased they no longer have to stand on their heads to read some maps. A big thank you to our marketing team for such prompt action.

Old Orientation
Re-oriented map now makes sense.

A customer was horrified when his wedding ring slipped off and fell between the verandah and the container where he was having coffee on Saturday. The ring was stranded halfway under a container with no crawling space. Fortunately many Traders carry extension poles for hoisting stock and one was used to rescue the ring. The customer was having coffee with his wife and Mother-In-Law so he was particularly grateful for the happy outcome.

Our New Car Park Takes Shape

Attendees at the QVM Committee of Trustees meeting last Tuesday were given a rare view of the “big hole” at Munro’s which gave some clarity to how this new area will work particularly in regard to car parking convenience.

The photo at the top is taken from the South side of the site, looking across to the market and shows the clear delineation of each car park level. H&I Sheds can be seen across the street.

Two things standout :
Firstly, the compactness of the site – the parking spaces will all be located within a fairly small area. 

Secondly, this new location is closer to the fresh food areas that most car park customers will be headed for.

The new location may change some customer access patterns, but in terms of convenience for food shoppers in particular, there would appear to be some pluses.

By Greg Smith

Heat Takes Its Toll On Traders at Night Market

One of our Traders ended up in hospital on Wednesday night with heat exhaustion and was surprised to find they were joining 5 other people from QVM with similar problems.

Before you start calling Night Market Traders “wimps” remember that set up on Wednesday’s usually takes place around 3:30 pm, peak heat time. The ambo who attended one of our heat exhaustion patients in SBA recorded 49C in their stall. The official temperature only reached 39C in Melbourne.

The message clearly is not to underestimate the impact of extreme heat days (over 35C) particularly if you are required to work during the hottest part of the day.

Take care out there.

Getting Incubation Right At QVM

Providing a nurturing trading environment is important if we are to keep replenishing our market’s stock of Traders. The current retail revolution is certainly creating some turnover and recruiting exciting new Traders is the key to avoiding gaps in our aisles.

QVM has always considered itself an incubator for small business. Indeed many vision or business objectives statements about our market include small business incubation as a key purpose but we haven’t always met the criteria.

In the past, fledgling new Traders have been introduced into the system with very little assistance. They have been placed at the end of the queue when it comes to allocation and often started their retail careers at QVM in the worst locations. “Doing it the hard way” seemed to be the philosophy from management and fellow Traders, but all that has changed.

New Traders are now being actively encouraged and actively curated into spots that give them a better chance of success. The revitalised L Shed in the Upper Market is a great example of improving our market through curated placement.

The result is a better looking market and better opportunities for small businesses. New Traders can also mean increased competition for some existing Traders but, many believe a revitalised market with full aisles is good for everyone.

By Greg Smith

Latest Retail News – 22/12/2019

Latest Retail News – 22/12/2019
1. CBA offers cash back to customers who shop at Coles, JB HiFi.
2. Woolworths restructure will see spin off of liquor and hospitality business.
3. NRA says Aussies will spend $14b this Christmas.
4. Fashion retailer, Every Human, launches online aiming at differently-abled (disabled) people.
5. Spotlight plans to enter shopping centres with smaller format stores in drive for new clients.
6. RBA suggests slow income growth (low wages) impacting on retail spending.
7. Roy Morgan survey identifies premium brands as growing segment.
8. Woolies to provide zoo animals with surplus food.
9. Wholesaler pays $4.8m for collapsed online furniture retailer, Zanui.
10. Packaging refresh for Carlton Draught.
11. One in five online Black Friday purchases arrived late.

Articles Worth A Read –
Stress for workers at Christmas time -

QVM In The News - 22/12/2019

From Vogue men to Vic market: keeping it cheesy for Christmas ... to Melbourne and work at the French cheese shop in the Queen Victoria Market.
Melbourne's huge Queen Victoria Market is a great place to go any time for Aussie gifts (think sheepskin and surfer T-shirts) but it really comes alive at ...
You may go to market in an eager mood, knowing exactly what you want and where to get it. Or you may enter in a loitering and only half-decided ...
The suitable seashores in Melbourne and Victoria .... DIY Melbourne espresso with a pack from Market Lane (Queen Victoria Market, 83-85 Victoria ...
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival will return in 2020, this time taking place exclusively in Melbourne over 10 days from 19 to 29 March with a new ...

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 ...