26 Jan Tommyfield Indoor Market Hall
This six day a week market, operated by Oldham Council uses smart marketing to promote their 270 stalls.
Q: So what new start opportunities are there at Tommyfield Indoor Market?New traders are given a 50 discount on rent for the first 12 months and then 25% off for a following 3 months.
For brick and perimeter units, new traders receive 1 months’ rent free.
Q: Is social media important to your organisation and do you use it?
We realise that social media is at the forefront of communication in 2015. That’s why we’ve given all the traders on the market two opportunities to attend a free social media training course. The sessions were delivered by the council communications team and the sessions taught each trader how to use social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter to attract new customers from online.
We now have around 40 of our traders on social media posting when they can.
As part of the LYLM campaign we run a ‘Trader of the Year’ competition, where we highlight various traders.
We then ask people to like and share the image of the trader they want to win. The most likes wins.
Q: What examples of innovation can you share with us?
In order to keep traders, a new scheme has been introduced where they are able to surrender a unit/units and use as storage and display. The rent for storage is considerably less than the current rent (80% less).
Traders can use the outside of the unit for display purposes and the inside for storage. This enables the business to remain open, the unit still appears to be occupied, the council achieves some rent and isn’t liable for the business rates.
Other vacant units have been let for additional storage, again reducing the business rates liability to the council.
Tommyfield Indoor Market lacks a public space, therefore, when 4 units became available, we transformed the space into ‘Tommy’s Field’ children’s play area where we hold free face painting, balloon modelling and storytelling events most weekend to entice families into the Market Hall.
This idea has been very well received by families shopping in the hall and the events are always well attended.
As well as this, we have introduced a ‘pre-ordering’ section on the website. This way, people who don’t really, or can’t visit the market can order Christmas meats and treats off the website over Christmas. This way people are still seeing all the products.
We have also made the traders the face of our marketing campaigns.
We introduced a ‘Trader of the Day’ campaign, where we interviewed our traders in the Market Hall, then posted their information on Facebook about what they sell/how long they’ve been there.
This received maximum exposure and received hundreds of likes, comments and shares.
Q: How do you promote links with the local community?
The local college has placed two students from the Peter Jones Academy and they organised and managed a youth market.
Students with learning difficulties helped set up a stall to sell products they produced.
The aim was to give them experience of selling and customer service.
We support Dr.Kershaws, a local hospice by lending gazebos for events.
Stalls are rented at half price or free of charge for local charities such as Animal Rescue, the Donkey Sanctuary and local churches.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about working with local partners?
We now work very closely with our Town Centre team. In the past, events in the town centre and the market were held as separate events. Today, any events that take place include the Market Hall.
For example, a few years ago ,the Halloween event was held only in the market hall, now, working with the Town Centre team, the event has become one of the biggest in the calendar, with creepy characters, spooky acts and music, held around the town centre and market hall.
We have also hosted a big flip competition (Pancake Day) hosted mother’s day arts and crafts and hosting a range of events for LYLM week including Bingo, craft sessions and more.
Q: Anything else?
We know that markets are in decline and with a little push and smart marketing it helps keep the local community spirit alive. We recently did a Tommyfield Market campaign complete with radio time, bus adverts, posters, leaflets, social media adverts and more.
We like to put the traders at the front of our campaign materials and we let the traders shape the campaign. We had a meeting, got all the traders ideas flowing and came up with three different designs and messaging.
Tommyfield market hall is one of the biggest covered markets in the North West, almost 6,000 square feet.