April 28, 2016 at 7:51 am #112479
So the Council aspire to invest in the two market buildings — what investment in time and finance will the stall holders commit. There is a clear need for many of them to learn about marketing, product selection, display, internet sales etc to make sure that what goes on to improve the building fabric can then draw in an increase in footfall.
There is a significant need to attract a broader age range of customers as many are older people who have grown up with markets.
I have not seen any research reports outlining any information on why people coming to Wrexham do not shop at any of the markets. Without fully understanding the potential customer base a retailer wont have the knowledge about what products and services to provide.
The retailers who are running a ‘lifestyle’/ ‘hobby’ stall really need to think about their future and those who are supposed to be advisers need to give some home truths about the future of some of the stalls.April 28, 2016 at 11:31 am #112481
Many sensible observations being made
The noises coming out of the Council are encouraging and if positive words can be fused with positive actions this will be encouraging.
To answer the input by the Council Watcher, you are correct. Improving the Markets is not a question of throwing money by the tax payer at the Markets without carefully evaluating how each penny is spent. One of the problems that I detected when I first took a Market stall in 2006 was the bad practice associated with the Covenant system which then prevailed. For those of you who are unaware of what this does, it prevents competition within any given Market by reserving the provision of any given product line to one trader. Whilst this system offered some certainty to a Market trader and perhaps encouraged that trader to invest in his/her business, it also encouraged inefficiency, and all of those negatives associated with an environment with no competition. Markets, by their very definition, have to be competitive and customer centred.
Across the UK, good Markets have abandoned the Covenant system and I believe that it has been either modified or abandoned in Wrexham. If so good. There are lots of other examples of bad practice that need eliminating in Wrexham and it is to be hoped that if the Council are to continue running the Markets that they adopt all of the good practices found in other towns, and run our markets according to the best habits employed elsewhere……April 28, 2016 at 1:05 pm #112495
Your last comment is the most relevant change that could occur — the Council and traders could establish a Cooperative mutual for the benefit of all. The joint management would have a greater impact than any bit if tarting the building with a coat of paint as everyone would genuinely be working together in the same direction.
In Wrexham it often feels like people arrive at a station and end up sitting on two trains and taking pot luck as to whether their train leaves to the left or the right — the only certainty is that everyone does not seem to want to go on the same journey. There is a need to abolish the choice have one train and everyone get on it to one destination – Business success for the whole town.. just make sure their is a good driver.April 28, 2016 at 1:47 pm #112497
I don’t necessarily agree with your last comment Council Watcher. You seem to be presuming that, for example, traders and the Council are the best people to help the Market progress when working in tandem (via a Cooperative). Whilst this sounds like a plan, in practice I have my doubts.
Market traders tend (not always) to want to protect their own patch…and understandably so. Same with the Council….indeed, the latter have protected bad practice and bad practitioners for too long.
What the Markets need is a focus on success and good practice. This needs coherent management, one that is strategically savvy, customer centred and willing to look at the best practice elsewhere. I would bring in a Market practitioner on a bonus scheme with the brief of a fundamental overhaul of the Markets. The person needs to be results orientated, of a Market background and au fait with all of the exciting developments going on nationwide. The danger in creating the woolly entity that you are talking about is that both those serving from the traders and from the Council will tolerate what patently needs to be changed
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