Page 33 - Demo
P. 33

 Operators, managers and
traders join in The Big Debate
WHAT should be happening in the market industry today? Is opening a bar on your market a good idea? And what is the best way for traders to promote their businesses?
two hours of trading on the days when the market is open late because the footfall for the food and drink area is going past our stall.”
Asked if the panel agreed that, for markets to succeed, operators, managers and traders had to work together, there was again a strong agreement.
Tessa said: “Operators and managers can sometimes forget that traders are our customers and without them we wouldn’t have a business. Shoppers are the end users. We have to look after our traders because if we don’t they will go.”
In response to a question about what made a market trader forum work effectively, Ryan said: “On a market you will never get everyone
to agree, but it comes down to good communication. The rumour mill can spill out of control with traders very quickly so it is in the interest of managers to communicate openly and regularly.” MISINFORMATION
Linda Aston said: “With WhatsApp and Facebook, misinformation can spread quickly, so you need to meet face-to-face.”
And John stressed that trust was paramount. To him, the answer to the question about the best way to promote a business was obvious.
“Great service and great customer interaction is the best way to keep customers returning to your business,” he said.
Tessa added: “Your best advert is word of mouth.”
These were just some of the questions submitted by conference attendees to a panel of market experts including traders and operators.
The idea was to get a broad cross- section of views and opinions on issues affecting markets and traders up and down the country.
The panel comprised market operators Tessa Darby who runs Wendy Fair Markets, with her brother Nick Hobday; Sean McGarel who manages Freeman Street Market in Grimsby; and Maria Cotton who runs markets for Barnsley Council.
Market traders on the panel were John Fenton, who runs a street food business, Cambridge Crepes, in Cambridge with his wife Jenny; Ryan Davis, a fourth generation greengrocer on Doncaster Market; and Linda Aston who for more than 50 years has run a business in Derby Market Hall called the Mecca, selling clocks, watches and jewellery.
Asked about the way ahead for markets, the panel agreed there was no size fits all.
Every market was different and
six or seven-day-a-week markets worked in some towns and cities, but certainly not everywhere.
On whether opening a bar on your market was a good idea, the consensus was a qualified “yes”, as it encouraged shoppers to linger, but it should only happen where there was good public transport so that people weren’t tempted to drink and drive.
It was pointed out that Doncaster’s redeveloped Wool Market had a licence and was open into the evening towards the end of the week.
Ryan Davis said: “We have been taking 50 per cent more in the last
 From left Tessa Darby, John Fenton, Linda Aston, Maria Cotton, Ryan Davis and Sean McGarel
 More markets and traders sign up to Go Trade
EU-funded project aims to tackle the retail decline in markets and high streets
 MORE markets and traders are getting involved in Go Trade, an EU-funded project that aims to tackle the retail decline in high streets and markets by forging closer links between traders in Kent and the south coast and their counterparts in northern France.
That was the message from Shanaaz Carroll who works on the project, alongside partners including the NMTF, Greenwich University, and four local authorities.
She said: “The idea is to make it easier for market traders in the UK andFrancetotradeineachother’s country. We are developing a cross- border brand including a digital platform and a quality assurance platform.”
So far 270 traders had received support through the programme, which has a £5 million budget. Nineteen markets had enrolled in the scheme this year and it was hoped 22 more would sign up by 2021.
Mike Evans, of The Retail Group, who developed and delivered some
Shanaaz Carroll
of the training programmes, said they had been well received by traders who appreciated having the workshops delivered on their markets.
Issues covered included how to use space effectively, how to create impact and the importance of delivering great service.
  Shanaaz told the conference that Go Trade would be getting a consumer-facing website.
Workshops to help traders with business development and the use of social media had been delivered.
Mike Evans

   31   32   33   34   35