All Markets are Super Markets.
With potential customers visiting large chain stores only a few hundred yards away from market squares, many market traders at Wolverhampton market feel that they are suffering from falling trade. It is strange to think that many stallholders are feeling the pinch, when more people should be flocking to the markets in search of a bargain.
Part of the problem is that there are very limited advertising opportunities available for local markets. Individual traders don’t have the advertising budget of large supermarkets, and many rely on word of mouth to promote their business.
Another problem is one of convenience. Outdoor markets are open to the elements, and a spate of bad weather can cause a massive drop in trade. In the 21st century, customers want to be warm and cosy when they shop, and that means they are missing out on some of the best shopping experiences in the UK.
Traders like Robin Newby (of Robin Newby & Family, Quality Butchers), have no doubt that the traditional market offers better value than modern supermarket. “In my opinion, we offer a much better product and a more personal service.” says Robin. “We can give our customers advice about which cuts are the best to use, and which offer the best value. You can’t get that sort of personal advice from a pack in the supermarket.”
Like many traders, Robin’s prices are far lower than those found in the high street. But that doesn’t mean that the quality of his product suffers. “We source most of our meat locally, and all of our cuts are from English stock. We don’t buy Cryovac (vacuum packed, frozen meat) from all over the world, we just get good, local products from people that we know and trust.”
Some customers travel several hundred miles to visit traders like Robin. One customer makes regular visits to the market from Hampshire. “We always get a good deal, and the quality is much better than anything we can find in the supermarkets at home. We take a huge pile of beef or lamb, and vegetables back with us, because it works out cheaper than shopping locally.”
Next time you go shopping, look around the local markets. Take reusable bags with you, and try some of the produce on offer. You will be helping local traders, and making some serious savings at the same time. It doesn’t matter where you are based, from Berwick Street in Soho to School Street in Wolverhampton, there are excellent products on offer at bargain prices. All you need to do is look.