The heading has you guessing doesn’t it, but this one is about consolidation of the Upper Market and the regularity of comments from traders suggests it is time we took that big step and got rid of the gaps.
There are areas of the market that are particularly vulnerable to gaps in stalls and the sad picture in sheds like C and D Sheds is seen as a severe negative not just to traders but also to customers. Traders say they are regularly overhearing customers talking about the obvious decline in the market.
Gaps are also appearing in other sections of the market and it is not a good look. The answer would seem to be simple – consolidate the market into a smaller area. The result would be removal of gaps and a return to a full, vibrant market. Many traders say the “buzz” of a full market is important to maintaining the right consumer mood and maximising sales.
As one trader said (thanks Tony) – you would not hold a garden party and spread your guests out deliberately to improve the appearance. Conversations require the energy of large groups and guests will naturally gravitate to where the action is. It is an analogy but for many traders there will be a parallel in creating energy to achieve sales through consolidation of the trading area.
Efforts have been made to minimise the impact of gaps. New traders have often been directed to empty areas and spreading is not only sought by traders but also encouraged by management. But clearly that is not enough and many believe the time has come for a more scientific approach and maybe a structural change in how and where we position stalls.
There is a lot to consider here, but let’s get a serious conversation started. – time waits for no-one.