Queen Victoria Market’s management revealed a five-year strategy this week to support the Melbourne market’s Covid-19 pandemic recovery and longer-term revitalisation.
With a “significant drop” in foot traffic in 2020, the Market and its traders are said to be among the hardest hit by the pandemic due to its CBD location and status as a “top tourist and events destination”.
According to the Market’s management, the ‘Draft Future Market Strategy’ preserves the heritage and what people love about Queen Victoria Market, while enhancing the retail offer and experience to serve more Melburnians, in particular the core inner-city catchment and a younger demographic.
Highlights of Queen Victoria Market’s proposed future offer and experience include:
- New specialty shopping and services precincts: local needs, ‘Melbourne Makers’ and a business incubator for new traders.
- Expanded fresh produce offer: more seasonal local produce, dry goods and convenient semi-prepared and ready-to-eat items, and take-home meals.
- More hospitality options: evening dining/bars, quick/casual food and produce sampling/grazing.
- Overtime: some parts of the Market to open in the evening and on non-Market days (hospitality/events focus).
- Enhanced retail configurations and more placemaking, seating, weather protection and pedestrian-friendly spaces.
- More events and activations to support existing traders and bring different people into the precinct throughout the day, week and year.
Supporting current traders, attracting new innovative businesses, improving safety and environmental sustainability are promoted as some other critical components of the draft Strategy.
The draft Strategy complements and depends upon the City of Melbourne’s significant Market Renewal Program, which is retaining and restoring the Market’s historic structures, improving customer and trader facilities, and helping meet modern operating standards.
Queen Victoria Market CEO Stan Liacos says the Market must adapt to recover from the pandemic and ensure its future viability.
“Critical to the future of our Market is ensuring we are relevant to more Melburnians, particularly those in our core inner-city catchment and younger people,” he says.
“Our draft Strategy builds on the fundamental elements that we know people love about the Market and focuses on making it an even better place to visit, shop and trade.
“It has been one of the most challenging 12 months in the Market’s history and this draft Strategy will support our recovery so we can re-emerge stronger than ever.”
Market management is currently seeking feedback on the draft Strategy from traders, customers, community and others with an interest in the Market.