Would markets be used more if they were open longer? Part 3; Weaknesses.
Continued from part 1 & part 2, in this blog I will speak and touch up on the weaknesses of the market being open longer, by speaking about trial and error, performance, lack of traders and popularity.
The weaknesses, in my opinion, in having markets open longer would have to be the following:
Trial and error: The idea has not been tested and without the idea being tested the idea can’t be projected, thus the outcome can’t be roughly predicted which means our traders would be entering no mans zone. This would be a very high risk for traders/operators to pay for extended market hours if nobody was to turn up.
If they were to open longer it could be a weakness as this is not something that has already been done in the UK which means the shoppers are not used to it. So, like any new start up this would take a bit of time, require a bit of patience and consistency to get off the ground and running which not all traders do.
Performance: In the West Midlands area there are a few markets underperforming in my opinion as opposed to years back when they were thriving and when I say west midlands let it be noted I am thinking within the black country region and outskirts such as Wolverhampton Market, Wednesfield Market, Willenhall Market, Dudley Market etc. Now this is to do with the lack of support they are receiving as well as the lack of diverse products available on these markets, along with big supermarkets opening up nearby, according to some traders I have spoken to.
But if a market is not performing in its peak times there are high possibilities that it is not going to perform in the extended hours unless there is something unique about that market. It is clear that before making the extension of market hours, maximising the performance in the peak times would be a must.
Lack of traders: Again I have to relate to the markets of the west midlands (some not all), but markets are barely full especially those I mentioned when speaking about performance. This could be because of rent rises as that money is not going back into the market in terms of improvement in some cases, but if we can’t fill out our ‘prime time’ day time markets how do we expect to fill out an extended hours market if we are struggling in the day?
Popularity: If the markets were to be open longer, or in the evening I think the shoppers of a later market would be a younger generation, as many shoppers have families and will be in looking after their children getting them ready for bed, cooking etc. Some may be a bit more elderly and don’t really like to go out in the evenings due to many downfalls of our society today and risks, which would also mean the new shoppers would be a younger generation.
But how would we attract this generation when we can’t attract them to our daily markets? Some may have some young shoppers but not every market does, in most market cases I would guess that the average shopper is over the age of 25, which makes this a weakness for markets to be open longer or on the evening as they would need to scheme a plan to attract the younger trader as well as trial it.
In conclusion to what I have said, I have listed many weaknesses but I would still say this is not enough to not give this opportunity a try as the saying goes, ‘don’t knock it until you try it’. I do still think this is worth trying as long as the solutions can be found to counteract the weaknesses, as well as the many strengths which I will conclude this series of blogs with in part 4.