Page 7 - MarketTimesAugust2016
P. 7

   Liz Marcy, markets project manager for St
Albans City and District Council Market manager Darren Lynch
 Patrick Jeavons whole food business is a popular stall on St Albans market
“It may be a cliché, but you are what you eat. We sell the freshest whole food,” said Patrick, who says the internet has boosted his business by providing a source of information on the benefits of whole foods and a healthy diet.
Bryan Hawkins, on the other hand, has been adversely affected by the internet. A keen golfer, Bryan began his business, Market Golf, after he lost his job in the motor industry 20 years ago.
As the home of Samuel Ryder, who started the Ryder Cup, St Albans seemed an appropriate location for Market Golf.
“I still do well here because I have loyal customers who know me,” Bryan said. “But internet shopping does affect businesses like mine.”
St Albans City and District Council, which
Bryan Hawkins has built up a loyal customer base on St Albans market where he sells golf equipment in the city where Samuel Ryder founded the famous Ryder Cup.
 runs the market, is doing all it can to help traders like Bryan who are feeling the pinch.
That means harnessing the power of latest trends such as social media and street food, whilst preserving the history and the tradition of this ancient market.
Liz Marcy, market project manager for the council, explained that improving the market was a priority project for the council.
“We launched a market review in 2013 to see how we could enhance the market,” she said. When Liz carried out her own market research, handing out free shopping bags and asking people about the market, she was delighted with the positive response.
“Everyone rated the market four or five out of five, and everyone said they would recommend it to a friend,” she said.
People seemed surprised they were being questioned about the vibrancy of the market. They felt everyone knew what a great attraction it was. The market was simply the place to go on a Wednesday and Saturday and Liz, who also organises the popular St Albans Christmas Market, was left in no doubt about the value locals placed on their precious market.
When Darren Lynch was appointed market manager two years ago, the market gained a passionate champion who was determined to try out new ideas and make the market the best it could possibly be.
“I had an office job for the council before this, but my job now is being out on the market, chatting to traders and shoppers and making sure the market grows and improves,” he said.
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