This article is not about some fictional western movie. It is about the real thing - dirt & dust.
Ok, there are more serious issues for our market like wish-washy consumer demand (look that up in your business dictionary) but grimy dirt and dust is an issue for open air markets and some of our traders might need strategies.
Presenting your stock in pristine condition is important and there are signs if something is not right in your stock presentation. When a customer handles one of your items and then wipes their hands, there may be an issue. When they rub their fingers together and inspect for dirt, it is a dead giveaway.
Ironically, set-up and pack-down stalls already have a great strategy. The simple action of handling every stock item during the set-up/pack-down process usually keeps it dust free, and that is a plus. More permanent locations like Victoria Street, F Shed and String Bean Alley shops, with exposure to the street, are havens for dust, and that is not good for business.
So what are the techniques for avoiding dust and dirt? You could simply move the dust and dirt on with a duster or a blower. Blowers are great, because they get the job done in seconds and many of us love the power of noise and force from a blower (ok it is probably a macho thing). We have seen traders use old fashioned feather dusters, more modern “static lint” dusters, and even baby wipes to keep things clean. One trader says he doesn’t have a problem with dust - his wife does the cleaning (sigh!).
But vacuuming makes a lot of sense. You clean and remove the offending dust, and with a regular cleaning schedule, your stall/shop and your stock should be free from contamination. In these difficult times we don’t want to give our customers any excuse to move on. Of course the perfect strategy is to sell everything so quickly that there isn’t time for dust to settle, but that is the subject for another article.
In the meantime, regular checks on the accumulation of dust in your display is just another joy of trading in an open air market.