What is up with markets today? Our list of top 10 basic market problems from the past years:
1 – The lack of traders on the market with a market stall – We cannot have half empty markets anymore, it is not the same and does not reflect good for first time visitors or offer any incentive to come back for customers. Markets need to have traders because if you can’t even fill up a market with traders then how will you fill them up with shoppers?
2- Market stall rent – Now this has been the issue since the blog has started and yet still nothing gets done to make this better for traders. Some markets have their pricing strategy working perfectly, but other struggling markets unfortunately don’t. Before we charge an excessive price for something, we must first make sure it is worth this price, and for many traders past and present this is not worth it.
3 – Advertisements of the market – Until recently I had not seen much in terms of advertisements on market stalls, but I have seen some improvements, at least around my local area of Wolverhampton. I have seen Wolverhampton markets using some print and digital advertising around the town for the markets, and recently on my travels to Birmingham I managed to see some digital advertisement for their markets on the German market which is clearly a good place to promote this. Unfortunately, it still is not enough, there needs to be more and a higher focus on online marketing, and SEO to make it easier for shoppers.
4 – Advertising of the market stall – The lack of advertising of the market stall is the reason why I had launched Where’s My Market? Based upon market research, it was clear market traders did not feel they had enough or any focus on them or their stall, to push their products/services out there. Now I feel this is true but unfortunately, me being a young male and being interested in markets is solely down to me, and my creative entrepreneurial side saw a market stall as an opportunity, but many others of my age range might not necessarily agree. Markets aren’t even considered when we talk about going on a shopping trip or to town. Unless I bring this up, I feel I am the only one of my friends that has a real interest, all my other friends only pay an interest because of me. They much prefer going out having a good time instead of looking to secure their future, this is the sad thing about each generation – as they get younger, priorities for their future hold less importance. I feel this is something we can learn from, as the more we can get young people into markets, it can create 3 or 4 more younger people to have an interest and consider hosting a market stall.
5 – They are old fashioned – This is not necessarily a bad thing because it can be interpreted positively such as markets are a part of the past, and markets are something that we can share the experience of using with our ancestors we have never met. For markets, not much has changed over the years, it’s still the same business model, still looks the same, still operates the same, you can still get bargains, and the best ones are the ones with the cheekiest but fairest traders. Now my point is that SOME markets are ok the way they were but others are simply not and need a change to grow with the times. Some areas of the market population are dominated by older generation and some by the young, depending on the location. For those dominated by the new generation coming up, I would recommend jazzing up your market. For example, my local market in Wolverhampton, have gotten rid of their old market and temporary pitched up a new one until the new Wolverhampton market is officially built in the agreed location. The way this new temporary market looks is fascinating. It definitely grabbed my attention, it is different, it is interesting, it is cleverly colourful which I really like, because to me it is a sign to show just how creative you can actually be on a market.
I have not listed the solution for markets but if looked at and implemented gradually, I’m sure markets will and can improve. We have some simple problems that are not being solved. With no disrespect to any market operators, I would love to take control of a market and just implement some of the many crazy ideas I have, to improve markets in 2017. Again, I mean no disrespect because I have met many market managers doing an amazing job, whereas I am unsure in some cases, if some of these other markets even have a market manager.