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FEATURE • GLASGOW FORGE 39
   Butcher Frank McDonald was delighted to get a space in the newly opened market 23 years ago and has plenty of regular customers
   Peter Hill has expanded his fledgling sweet products business significantly since taking a small stall on the market last year
the pipeline including rebranding and a good clean, remedial work to the roof, replacement toilets and a big CCTV and wi-fi upgrade.
David said: “We need to future-proof this market and that means a significant investment in improvements and focusing on attracting younger shoppers into the market.”
He said the team had already targeted some “low hanging fruit”. They are promoting the market in the print press and are developing an online presence which includes teaming up with a new online local radio station.
They sponsor a Celtic player which creates publicity for the market and they are organising events to bring in families including children’s entertainment and buskers.
The trick, David says, is to balance the traditional feel of the market with new lines that will bring in younger shoppers.
Peter Hill represents the latter. He has rapidly expanded his business called Mental Munchies selling American candy and sweet products from all over the world.
“I used to work in valeting then a friend introduced me to Chocomel and I began selling it at car boots,” he said.
For the uninitiated, Chocomel is a Dutch brand of chocolate flavoured milk that has taken the Amsterdam coffee house scene by storm.
“It went so well I took a small stall in this market last year and I now have a 40ft by 40ft stall and sell candy and other products from all over the world,” Peter said.
More traditional lines include Ian Jobson’s leather bags and luggage business, and Hayley Bennett’s babywear.
Ian, who has been on the market since it opened, said: “I can remember the first day here — it was really busy.” Like most retail, it is getting harder, he said, but the market is still a good place to trade.
Hayley supported the manager’s efforts to get new shoppers into the market where her daughter has taken over another babywear business so that they can keep sales in the family.
And Alex Grant, who has a wide floorspace filled with fireplaces, is adamant that he is in the best place for his business.
“I was in a shop but moved here when it opened and we sold a fireplace on the first day. People come to the market and notice my fireplaces, so word spreads and when someone wants to buy one they come to me,” he said.
Although the heady early days of Forge market are behind them, traders are relatively upbeat and welcome plans for investment, more promotion and some bright, new ideas.
Alex Grant has been selling fireplaces on the market since it opened
 FACTS & FIGURES
 l Market Days: Thursdays to Saturday
l Market Rent: From £137 a week
l Glasgow’s claim to fame:
Glasgow was “the second city of the British Empire” in Victorian times due to its shipbuilding, engineering, chemicals and textiles industries. It is famous for the Old Firm rivalry between its two football teams Celtic and Rangers and it is also a centre for Scottish arts.
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