Tuesday, 29 April 2014

May Be Time For A Market

It's that time of year again when Central Road begins to play host to local produce and craft markets. The first of four planned for the year is this coming Saturday starting at 10:00am and going through 'til 4:00.

I don't know if anyone agrees that what seemed to start out quite well last year seems to have turned into rather sad little affairs by December. The first one had lots of stalls and lots of people but each one seemed to have less stalls and less people than the last one. I would have thought there is a critical mass of stalls required to make people want to come along to a market and that just making do with less and less stalls each time isn't going to attract more and more people.

However this is a whole new year and it's perhaps time to welcome said market with open arms and really make an effort to help 'make it work' by heading down and buying actual stuff from them in order to make it worth their while being there! Perhaps with a new round of markets there has been a big injection of oomph to get the first one really going. It's certainly not going to survive as an independent market if last year's trend continues.

What do you think dear reader? If we had the option to give the market at external boost and get some other things in to attract more people, would this be make enough of a difference to get you to want to go along (if you haven't much before)? Or do you think if it doesn't improve then things should be allowed to follow their natural course? I personally feel that letting it limp along like it did last year is not really an option.

Promoted by Ranulph Murray, on behalf of Sutton Borough Conservatives Federation, both of 2a Sutton Court Road, Sutton, SM1 4SY

5 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Nichu said...

What I'd really like is stalls selling locally grown fruit and veg, meat, fish, cheese and a bakery. I'm less bothered about olives, nuts, chutneys and jewellery. Perhaps a little seating area to enjoy a hot roll or cake. Can't make this weekend but will come along in future.

Guest D said...

I agree it does need a critical mass, few people will come to just one stall, thirty and they will go as there may be something that will interest them. Not that Central Road could support thirty stalls.

The great advantage of stalls are the low running costs as compared to a shop, just the pitch license and thermal clothing (assuming that lighting is in the pitch license). This makes it much easier for people to get into retail as an independent trader.

Given enough mass and frequency (ideally weekly) and it will improve the sales of the shops as well. However as Nichu has suggested one or two permanent stalls selling fruit and veg would help.

It's a shame that there is nowhere but Stone Place to house a proper market, as using that would be self defeating.

gg said...

To be honest, to me there are nothing to make me buy or browse.
I rather like to eat something sitting with my family.
Sitting areas make people stay longer longer.

Alex said...

One reason the stallholders stopped coming was that the event was to be entirely paid for by the Sutton Outer London fund, and the stallholders charged nothing ... but behind the scenes, the stallholders were also all being charged £30 for the privilege of attending. Needless to say, the stallholders were unimpressed and gradually, more and more gave the markets (and the hidden £30 charge)' the elbow'.

When challenged, oddly, members of the Outer London Fund Team who organised the event apparently had no idea that the charging was going on and seemed unsure even where the money was going. At £30 a shot, clearly some unknown entity did rather well in the short-term, but in the long-term, the dwindling stallholders meant the increasingly sparsely populated markets simply joined the growing list of Outer London Fund failed projects.

Oh well, "Another Fine OLF Mess!" Still, it's only public money!

Barry Cullum said...

Locally grown fish?....... mmmmmm... still working on that one Nichu

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