Carmarthenshire indoor & outdoor markets

Carmarthenshire indoor & outdoor markets

From young traders to stop and shop the markets in Carmarthen and Llanelli pulled out all the stops for Love Your Local Market

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Q: So what new start opportunities are there on Carmarthenshire Markets?

We encourage traders to use social media to promote their own businesses and offer them support and training for this.

This year we are introducing an incentive for Llanelli outdoor market and will be promoting through all our channels (social media, website and using local press and radio) that all new traders who buy one pitch will get one free for up to 12 weeks ie if they attend every Thursday they get up to six free pitches, if they attend Thursday and Saturday they get 12 free pitches.

A press release (incl picture) is written by our communications department for all new starters in our indoor markets (Carmarthen and Llanelli) promoting that they have opened and what they sell. This information is sent on to the local press and media as well as used on the market website, local authority newsroom and through our social media channels.

Monthly market forums are held at our indoor markets in Carmarthen and Llanelli where we encourage all traders and market officers to come together to meet other traders and discuss any issues/upcoming events.

We also hold a number of events every year at our markets to encourage footfall and any interest in becoming a market trader.

Market managers are always on hand to offer help if needed to fill in application for new start ups and to offer advice.

We are looking at creating new Social Media Pages for Carmarthenshire Markets and ongoing support from Corporate Social Media Sites.

Please see a quote from one of our new traders at Llanelli Market: “The tendering process was quite simple and I received great support from the market managers who made it even easier. I would urge anyone who would like to set up their own business to start in the market. It’s a great community, we all look out for each other and offer support where we can,” added Tammy

Q: Is social media important to your organisation and do you use it?

We use the local authority’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as they have 3,555 and 5,056 followers respectively.
We are using the corporate bilingual accounts as they have such a large following.
We also work closely with traders at both indoor markets who have their own traders Facebook account and share information to reach a wider audience.
Facebook and Twitter are hugely important to getting our messages out for free and they reach a large audience instantly, from advertising vacant stalls to promoting new traders, opening hours and all our events.

For example, social media was hugely important to our Christmas campaign – each day throughout December if you purchased something in Carmarthen and Llanelli indoor market you could enter into the daily draw. Traders donated prizes to be given away each day in both markets. The winner was drawn out of a box from a familiar face in the town, from rugby stars to MPs, town mayors and sheriffs. They could then choose a number and the corresponding cracker would be pulled to reveal their prize. Each day we used social media to promote the winners and pictures of our guests pulling the crackers. Using social media meant we were able to keep up the momentum of the competition daily.

New Social Media Pages for Carmarthenshire Markets and ongoing support from Corporate Social Media Sites.

Q: What examples of innovation can you share with us? 

Our Carmarthenshire Young Traders competition was an innovative idea introduced to Ammanford outdoor market last year. Footfall statistics have proved that the competition brought in more trade into the town centre which was welcomed by traders and businesses in the town .
Other innovative ideas at our markets throughout the county in last 12 months include:

A ‘stop and shop’ has been piloted at Carmarthen Indoor Market, where half an hour free parking outside the market is available for shoppers to come into the market hall and collect their goods. This scheme will be continuing this year and we are now looking at doing a similar scheme for Llanelli Indoor Market.

Student discount at Carmarthen Market was promoted at a Freshers Fayre in the town’s university – in a bid to encourage students to the market to ‘shop smart’ a flyer handed out to students indicated which stalls were offering what discounts to students.

Llanelli indoor market collaborated with other major events in the town this year, including late-night opening on Carnival night which was welcomed by traders and shoppers as well as late night opening when the Coca-Cola lorry came into the town which saw up to 10,000 people coming into town. These late night openings haven’t been held in the last 10 years in the market.

Looking forward to this year – free wifi for customers and traders is being launched in Llanelli Indoor market – taking us into the 21st century, with the aim in the future of being able to shop online on our market website.

We are also introducing footfall counters at our indoor markets in Carmarthen and Llanelli which will be able to tell us which events are working and drawing people into the market and which days and times are proving to be popular with customers.

Q: How do you promote links with the local community? 

The ‘Carmarthenshire Young Trader’s’ competition was promoted through a local radio station prior to the event. Presenters were also at the event presenting live throughout the morning to the county, talking to all the pupils about what they were selling.
We also promoted the event through our local newspapers and social media through the corporate Facebook and Twitter pages.
We also use the market website www.carmarthenshiremarkets.co.uk and the county council’s Newsroom page.
For this competition we also engaged with primary schools in the area and sent information out to their parents, grandparents and family asking them to come along to the event and support their local school. Notice boards to display art work from visiting schools have been added to a communal area in Llanelli Indoor Market.

Each year Carmarthen indoor market support a local charity, by holding fundraisers and placing a wishing well in the market foyer. Last year they presented a cheque for £800 for the Cameron Comey fund and a further £400 to the SCBU at the town’s hospital.

A WI market is held every Friday in Carmarthen indoor Market with members selling their popular wares for decades.

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Q: Can you tell us a bit about working with local partners? 

For this event we worked closely with Ammanford Town Council and the Ammanford ‘On Track’ Partnership Group who supported the event financially (each school is given £100 to buy materials).
Representatives from both were also on hand during the day to visit the pupils and to present the winning school with their trophy.
Following on from the success of the competition in the town, the town council said they would like to take the competition on and run it each year.

We work in partnership with the county’s radio station and by playing Radio Carmarthenshire each day at our indoor markets (Carmarthen and Llanelli) we are getting three taglines each day on the radio saying ‘As heard at Carmarthenshire markets’ for FREE.

Q: Anything else?

The ‘Carmarthenshire Young Trader’ competition has been held for the past 3 years. Each year it is held in our different market towns in the county, offering every primary school in the market town the chance to enter.
The aim of the competition is for teams of up to 5 pupils from Years 5 and 6 to come up with a business idea, brand it and sell their products.
The 4 schools chosen to take part are invited to go to the market to talk to traders to ask advice before-hand.
They are each given £100 to spend on buying or making produce to sell (the money is donated by working in partnership with local businesses/organisations).
The school who takes home the most at the end of the day is the winner.
The winning school this year took home £435. The team sold craft items that were made out of driftwood.
The other three schools made £239.50, £224.54 and £139.50 respectively. All the schools keep any money made.
In 2016 the competition returns to Llanelli.
Carmarthenshire County Council has a total of 8 indoor and outdoor markets – a total of 220 traders.
Carmarthen Indoor Market – Monday-Saturday
Carmarthen Outdoor Market – Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Llanelli Indoor Market – Monday-Saturday
Llanelli Outdoor Market – Thursday, Saturday
Ammanford Outdoor Market – Friday
Llandeilo Outdoor Market – Friday
Llandovery Outdoor Market – Friday