Sunday 9 February 2020

Trader Seeks Forum To Re-organise The Upper Market – Part 2

This article was first launched back on 19th January and received a rather lengthy response from one of our readers. Well, the original author has decided to respond back. We have included the full article, the response, and now the author’s response below:

A Trader has written to us about the need to re-organise the Specialty Merchandise area of QVM.

He says “The Fresh Food Market is very well organised, logical, and makes shopping easy and attractive to customers. There are designated aisles for fresh fruit and vegetables, deli, meat &fish, and a large number of competing traders offering the greatest variety of goods to customers at the most competitive prices.”

“How different is the Specialty shop area!!!!!! It’s a total disaster. Everything in this area is made for customers to have the worst shopping experience. No system, no logic. Customers are just dragging themselves from aisle to aisle until they get totally exhausted and disenchanted and just leave without buying anything.”

“How do we rectify this?”

“In my opinion there has to be a forum which must have proper representation from QVM Management and Traders as well as customers to the work required.
As a quick band aid solution I would recommend:
- to put a printed Trader Directory together and add it to the QVM website. Hard copies could be made available at the Visitor Centre.
- to create a printed version of the existing QVM website to be distributed to customers to have some vague idea about what merchandise they can shop for.
- a proper action plan needs to be put together to completely restructure the speciality shop area and re-engineer its perception from a Trash and Treasure Market and turn it into Melbourne’s Best Value Shipping Outlet, which it could be.”

Have Your Say – click here.
20/1/2020 1934 - "I totally disagree with the comment that the specialty section of the market is a total disaster. QVM is a market it is not a shopping mall and people come to look around an operating market, enjoy the atmosphere, and talk and joke with the stallholders and, contrary to what some stall holders think, don't even notice the storage boxes etc that are part of the market. Many, many times I have heard people on Peel street on the top of sb alley or L shed talking among themselves asking "where shall we explore first" or "which aisle will we go down first" obviously looking forward to an adventure to possibly see what bargains they can find. With about 70% of our customers tourists from both intrastate, interstate and overseas we find that the majority did not come to the market to buy a particular thing but, as I said before, to look around the great Vic market and enjoy the atmosphere. I shall remain anonymous as did the author of the original comment."
Thank you for your contribution.  There is much to be said for QVM as an adventure - Ed

8/2/2020 1430 – “After reading the comment above, I thought long and hard and decided that if we are to have a serious and involved discussion about the need to re-organize and re-engineer QVM Specialty Shops Area, I must reply.

My first comment is that on one side I am delighted to see that my initial thoughts have triggered some comments, even if they are negative and apprehensive, but on the other side these comments have proven loud and clear that  one of the biggest challenges for QVM  is people's approach to any suggestions to make changes. And so we get comments like "If it has been good for 50 years why change it?" Yet in our life the one and only constant thing is ongoing change and the need for more ongoing change. 

Without the will to accept the need for change the QVM Speciality Shop Area is doomed to failure.

So I try to give you my opinion regarding the most important points this person made.
1. Well everybody is entitled to his or her opinion, it's a free country. However if someone is making comments regarding major issues like this the most preferred method is to come up with his/her suggestions as to how to solve the issues. However I am confident that the writer who made the comments is fully satisfied that the status quo is the best available option. Well I beg to differ!

2. The writer goes on to state that QVM is a market not a shopping centre....well in fact this is a true statement, however it's totally irrelevant. Reason being that customers local, interstate and overseas have a choice where they want to spend their money. So guess what, they will spend their money where they get the best value shopping package. That is the only relevant issue as QVM Speciality Shops are competing with all CBD retail outlets, shopping centres, and DFO’s. 
The only way customers will spend their money at the QVM Specialty Shop Area is because the QVM shops/traders are offering more attractive shopping options than all the other CBD retail outlets.
Do you seriously believe that potential customers will consider purchasing fashion ware or shoes or cosmetics in QVM Specialty Shops Area instead of Myers, David Jones, DFO, Zara, H&M etc. just because it’s the market? No a starting point customers have absolutely no idea what goods are available in QVM, no idea what shops are there, and where these shops are located. That is the very reason in my opinion it is of paramount importance to put a Trade Directory together, erect Trade Directory Advertising Boards right through QVM telling customers where to find different types of goods and where to find those shops. Equally important to have a printed version of this Trade Directory to be handed out to visitors to the market and in addition publish it on the QVM website.

3. The next comment is suggesting that customers in the QVM enjoy playing "hide and seek" to explore what stalls are in the next aisles. Well that's fine, however, I believe that it is most irresponsible to downgrade  this discussion to "he heard this, she heard that...". Making decisions on the basis of hearsay is not a very good scientific method. 

I just mention at this juncture that I have had several customers complaining about lack of any system in a market and especially customers who need to return to the market with their husbands or wives find it absurd that the trader has no idea where his or her stall will be the next day as it keeps changing every day. The only thing we definitely have is total present a shoe shop is trading next to an electronic accessory shop and a hand-made cosmetic shop next to a hardware store lack of any system so the customer has only one choice which is to spend hours and hours by wandering through all the aisles to have some vague idea about what sort of goods he/she can shop for. Is it good for the customers? Well I have heard several angry customers complaining about this however the best way to find out what customers really thing is to do a customer survey which will reveal without any doubt what customers thing. 

However I am confident that making assumptions about customer satisfaction without knowing the real facts is very dangerous and irresponsible. I am fully convinces that the major stakeholders like QVM Management, traders and customers are entitled to know what the truth is. And based on the findings of a survey, an Action Plan can be put together outlining the major directions as to how to rectify this terrible mess in the QVM Speciality Shop Area.

So where do we go from here?

Obviously I do not wish to downgrade the most exciting project of how to restructure and re-engineer the QVM Speciality Shop Area to a personal dialogue between myself and another person who made some comments.

In reality as I said before I am looking for the most adequate forum to discuss all these vital issues about our beloved QVM which in fact pays the wages to QVM Management, determines if traders make money or lose money and if customers are prepared to convert themselves from visitors to money spending customers which of course is the lifeblood of QVM.”

Have Your Say - click here.