25 May Quarterbridge – loving markets since 1997
Quarterbridge has been providing specialist design and business planning advice to market owners, operators, traders and developers since 1997, more recently the London Mayor’s Special Advisor for markets as part of the Mayor’s High Street Fund.
Its team of well-known experts offers unrivalled knowledge and three decades of practical experience and we are proud that they have chosen to support the Love Your Local Market campaign as one of the #MarketBiz15, a group of exceptional companies, markets and suppliers of the markets industry.
Diversity, choice, localism, footfall and employment are all vital for the regeneration of town-centres – many of which have dramatically changed over recent years with greater emphasis on recreation, town-centre living and quality of life associated with shopping and eating out and markets play a vital role.
Markets today are not just about buying and selling – they are a nursery for start-up businesses, they create employment and support a local economy by recycling wealth within the community. In towns and cities with progressive urban planning strategies, they help create good places to belong, build relationships and restore a sense of neighbourhood.
Shoppers have been conditioned to the sophisticated sales techniques of dominant supermarkets yet good markets still out-perform on cost, quality and personal service. Markets represent the purest form of retailing, continually evolving with trends and demographic shift. The challenge is how to adapt to meet modern shopper expectations.
All markets can be improved, whatever their size, nature, location and age and nobody knows better than Quarterbridge how to revitalise an under-performing market or release the potential of an underused site.
Actions Quarterbridge are encouraging
Visit any successful market and the reasons why it survives while others fail in today’s competitive retail world are clear to see.
Markets are essential for the success of town-centres. Unsuccessful towns have allowed bad planning to benefit high-end retailers in prime locations which has led to economic and social segregation, leaving many traditional markets in struggling locations where discount stores and charity shops dominate. Planners need to rethink placemaking to create desirable places to spend time, not just to spend money.
Markets represent a lifeline to start-up businesses which often go on to expand, they create jobs and support a local economy by recycling wealth within the community. Retail shops experience increased turnover on market days so the benefit is widespread.
“Love your Local Market and recycle wealth in your local community. Create places to spend time not just money #shoplocal”
Market owners and operators must listen to shoppers’ needs. Under-performing markets can be improved but they need investment in product, premises and promotion. Quarterbridge strategies research local demand and financial performance is swift to respond to simple improvements.
Market traders need to learn from each other. Successful market traders are the anchor tenants for any good market – they maybe a third or fourth generation traditional butcher, a top quality greengrocer or an old fashioned haberdashery but what they will have in common is knowledge of their customers and how to communicate with them. Where they win over the supermarkets is not just about the quality of their produce, but how they engage with customers. Large retail groups invest £millions in trying to digitally communicate with shoppers but you what a good trader offers simply cannot be bottled.
For shoppers, the benefits of visiting a market are many: choice, buying locally grown food from knowledgeable independent traders, customer service, engaging with real people and being part of a local community in a desirable place.
Get involved with Quarterbridge
People can get involved with Quarterbridge by visiting their news page and blog on the website at: www.quarterbridge.co.uk. Were they regularly feature news, advice and articles from major industry speakers such as Jonathan Owen (Market Matters, Market Trade News), Adam Corbally, Speaker, Motivator and Entrepreneur and Julian Dobson of think tank, Urban Pollinators.
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Quaterbridge welcomes enquiries from Market Owners and Operators, Local Authorities and Market Traders.