Page 10 - MarketTimesFebruary2013
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Market Times • February 2013
 An indoor market that deserves to succeed — again
 By NICOLA GOULD
LIKE many similar markets, Shipley Indoor Market has seen a gradual decline since its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s when the spanking new market was the place to shop in the small town near Bradford.
Long-time trader Val McLaren, who sells watch batteries, straps and fancy goods, said: “It was Bradford’s flagship market. I have been trading here for 35 years and in the early days there was a two- year waiting list for a stall.”
Today, the 1960s building is showing its age and the indoor market is struggling to attract footfall in the face of competition from supermarkets and shopping centres.
But the traders are an enterprising bunch of people and the offering is spot on — from long-standing traders running niche businesses to fresh faces offering computer services and repairs.
They are working together to boost footfall and attract new traders — and the landlord and market operator, London and Associated Properties, is doing its bit to support efforts to rejuvenate the market.
Dean and Caroline Marsh, who run D C Computers and moved to Shipley market from Leeds Kirkgate Market last March, are doing everything in their power to drum up business and increase footfall.
They invited Market Times to an open day to promote the market to show us what shoppers — and traders — are missing.
Dean said: “I started on Leeds Market selling clothes 10 years ago. We tried a number of lines but I have always been good with electronics and began mending my own PC after getting such shoddy service from the big computer retailers.”
He moved indoors at Leeds in 2008 but the couple opted to move to Shipley because they were not happy with the situation in Leeds.
“This is a really good market,” said Caroline. “The other traders
are brilliant, but local people have just got out of the habit of shopping here and many don’t know we are here, so we have distributed masses of leaflets and we are all working hard to promote the market,” she added.
Shipley indoor market was run by the council, who leased it from London and Associated Properties for 40 years, but the property company took over its running when the lease ran out in 2002.
After employing a Leeds company to manage it, they agreed to take on market trader Heidi Mckenna as market manager, and the open day was her idea.
“I traded on the outdoor market for10yearsandnowIaminmy third year running Up Market selling second hand items from a shop near the indoor market entrance,” Heidi said.
The lack of footfall to the indoor market was affecting her business, so she has a vested interest in boosting business there.
The £50 a week rent for stalls is competitive, Heidi said.
“But the indoor market has suffered a bit recently because a number of longstanding businesses have moved to shops in the town centre, leaving empty units,” she said.
As any trader will tell you, it is a downward spiral once shoppers see empty stalls. But the traders are determined to keep the market ticking over and Heidi is signing up new businesses.
She would dearly love to recruit a fruit and veg business, and she is sure a fashion stall would do well.
And there are plenty of traders who believe new recruits would do well at Shipley. Dudley Kavanagh, who started trading in the market in June 1970, said: “I have had a good business here. After 42 years, people know I am here.”
And James Hartley, who started his own business selling DVDs two years ago after working for Dudley, said: “We need more businesses here — but I have no regrets. Regulars tend to buy books and
Val McLaren who runs Time Zone selling watch batteries, straps and fancy goods, has been on the market for 35 years
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