Sunday, 2 June 2019

String Bean Alley – Moderating Expectations

The term “Great Expectations” was recently used to describe the renewal of String Bean Alley, and while this is an exciting development at QVM perhaps our expectations deserve a bit more scrutiny.

Completing SBA certainly has great potential. Completing the full story of unique Melbourne offerings ticks many boxes -
-     Creating an identity for an aisle on the fringe.
-     Potential for special events.
-     Adding craft/homemade element to our market.
-     A unique component of “the market of markets”.
-     Convenience for traders.
-     Enabling more complex equipment (e.g. laser engravers)
-     A contributor to the Night Market concept.

But what will it do for business? When the decision to complete SBA was announced some months ago, the current residents took a fairly pragmatic view on how their business would be affected. They felt that a 15% increase in day trade was probably achievable. Adding more trading days (Tuesday and Thursday) would increase that percentage.

If SBA does succeed in creating a desirable new destination in our market them we can expect all traders to benefit. Another good reason for customers to visit QVM is another good reason to check out the whole of the market.

Just how 12 additional containers will work is crystal ball stuff. Logic (whatever that is here) suggests that a unified aisle will be a success. It will certainly attract new interest, and have potential for some focused marketing. It would seem that some new trading concepts will be trialed in the containers and nobody can really be sure how they will go.

If we waited for surety in retail, nothing would get done. SBA does have great potential, but like everything in retail right now, it will probably require some very serious evaluation and tweaking as we go along.

In basketball parlance SBA is not a “slam dunk” but maybe the ball is already bouncing around the rim at least for some traders and hopefully it rolls in for a score.

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