Turning Spaces into Places — The Resurgence of the Great British Market Place

Alex Gibson
Jul 24 · 3 min read
Portobello Road Market

As the weatherman predicts gorgeous ‘hotter than normal’ Summer days, a recent article by the Telegraph reminds us that the markets industry is also heating up! Markets are reported to have enjoyed sky rocketing sales averaging £200 million per year since 2012 and a turnover of £3.1billion last year. Customers are done with impersonal checkouts and cookie cutter high streets as they seek to reconnect with their communities and have more meaningful, banterous interactions with traders #downthemarket. Here is a consumer that cares about quality, loves getting to know the people behind the product and rallies against soulless shopping experiences in favour of some local hubbub! We are excited to learn that the number of markets in our Capital have doubled in ten years to 300, as we believe such spaces are not only critical to the health of the local economy but provide a vibrant, inclusive place for people of all backgrounds to interact, healthy affordable produce for communities and employment opportunities.

A prosperous market can also increase neighbouring retail sales by 55% — 71% and the results of a survey conducted by VISA, partner’s in this year’s Great British High Street Awards, champions markets as the saviours of our ailing town centres. 2/5 of Brits would shop more in town if there was a thriving market and Graham Wilson, Chief Executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities, identifies markets such as the Bullring development in Birmingham and Preston’s historic Market Hall as central to recent town regeneration strategies. VISA’s head of merchant services and Chief Judge of the Great British Markets Awards Sundeep Kaur highlights the importance of market days as a means of driving footfall to public spaces with a diverse array of products and services which are vital in building a local sense of community. The NMTF estimate there are 30,000 enterprising traders up and down the UK with markets running at 77% occupancy while the high street has been hit with a slew of shop closures. In this insecure retail environment markets have continuously proven highly adaptable to customer trends; worth £600million and growing at a staggering 20% year on year, the burgeoning street food industry is at the forefront of culinary innovation and pulls in youthful foodies to markets (83% of whom are under 40) who want exciting, vibrant social spaces to experience flavours from all four corners of the globe.

Markets have always been a vital part of the social fabric of our communities and town centres. Here at Marketti we strive to connect these communities of traders, markets and shoppers together to help reinvigorate the market industry, draw people back into their neighbourhoods, encourage locals to fall in love with the independents next-door and to promote our historic and truly unique British market scene.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade