Following are the 7 Characteristics of a Successful Weekend Market in Melbourne:
- Accessible & Central Location: Such markets should be easily accessible by public transit or private vehicle, and located within the city or neighborhood center. The accessible location of a weekend market provides vendors and shoppers convenient options for shifting goods in and out.
- Protection from the natural Elements: Most of the markets provide protection from the natural elements. Many are located in buildings or under permanent roof structures. Vendors at an outdoor weekend market in Melbourne nearly always assemble cloth or tarp coverings across aisles, making it a viable destination even on hot & rainy days.
- Navigable Aisles: Weekend markets display varying degrees of aisle navigability. The best weekend market in Melbourne has aisles that allow enough room for shoppers to halt and purchase items at a stall, while still leaving enough room for others to pass by and glide along. Apt lighting, proper ventilation, and wayfinding also add to fine navigability. While the equation for navigable aisles differs, it is a significant consideration for shopper comfort & vendor success.
- There is a broad selection of goods available in a weekend market in Melbourne: Weekend markets offer an incredible variety within each good category and, in most of the cases, a high number of goods categories too. To put it in other words, there is a vast array of fruit & vegetable types on display, but there are also vendors selling clothes, kitchen goods, paper products, and school supplies. The market is a one-stop-shop.
- Affordability: Merchandise in a weekend market in Melbourne is cheaper than a supermarket. An affordable market is easily accessible to all, and therefore becomes a very important space for both commercial and social activities. While exceptions do exist, the culture of a market as a public space, affordable to all, remains overriding. This is a very interesting contrast to the cultural conception of farmers’ markets today in the United States, which has over and over again been associated with high quality and, thus, high cost.
- Prepared Food & Seating: Usually a weekend market in Melbourne incorporates the sale of prepared food. Almost without exception, seating for the diners is located right in front or to the side of the food stall where the food was both prepared and sold. In some of the cases, the market architecture incorporates counters and stools as part of each food vendor’s stall. But, it is also quite common to witness prepared food vendors creating their own seating spaces. They use chairs, milk crates, wooden benches, and even the tops of coolers for the seating. They place tents or simple tarps overhead to offer protection from the natural elements. A weekend market in Melbourne allows vendors to make sure that the customers have a comfortable place to sit. Allowing vendors to proffer a small amount of seating near the stall is a preferable option for both customer comfort and the social environment in the market.
- Multi-Level Vending: There are many vendors with established stalls, side by side with the ones setting up shop on the floor and displaying their wares on foot. This variety produces a rich experience for the customer, adding up to the excitement of the market environment and offering more options in terms of variety and goods’ pricing. Multi-level vending also lowers the barriers to entry for the informal entrepreneurs as it allows vendors to freely participate in a weekend market in Melbourne and sell their goods, even if they can’t afford to rent a formal stall. However, are these vendors allowed to sell on foot in actuality? And, if so, is it safe to purchase from them? In the weekend markets, ambulatory vendors are most likely participating without any formal permission or legal regulation. They most likely do not pay anything to be able to access the commercial opportunities a weekend market provides; nor are they subject to an oversight in terms of quality or safety of the product. And, these on-foot vendors are always in danger of being wedged and penalized for selling their items illegally. This scenario can be a serious problem for the established vendors, who pay to participate in the weekend and night market in Melbourne, and for customers, who might get sick from food they purchase from an unregulated mobile vendor. An ideal solution will be to structure market participation in tiers, subjecting the vendors to an apt degree of oversight with an apt fee for participation at every level for formalization. A properly tiered vending structure preserves the vibrancy & variety that multi-level vending affords, eliminating the risks & frustrations to vendors & customers.