Saturday, 12 November 2011

Is CWaC Council turning a blind eye to an illegal market?

MARKET traders in Winsford have voiced serious concerns over what they claim are illegal stalls in the town centre. They say that the eight stalls effectively make up a small market and, as such, infringe local market rules.

Niel Hodkinson, chairman of the local Market Traders Association, said: “Winsford market traders are very concerned at the number of stalls that are setting up in the town centre.

“At the last count there were eight. This constitutes a market and is illegal under present law.

“The market rights are council-held and, as such, markets cannot be set up in the area without their consent. 

My comment: Most well run markets/shopping centres try and protect their permanent stallholders/shopkeepers by minimising the number of 'here for the Christmas trade and gone by New Year' part time traders.

It's the full time traders who are there in January and in all weathers who are the backbone of any market/shopping centre. So it's both short-sighted and unfair to allow part time traders to cream off their business during the best trading weeks of the year.  

Whilst this short-sighted approach gives the management/organisers extra income from stall rents over the Christmas period it has serious repercussions for both themselves and the permanent stallholders/shopkeepers. Firstly the loss of business forces many permanent stallholders/shopkeepers to question their motivation for being there through the all bad trading months and many decide it's no longer worth it. This means the market/shopping centre is only part occupied and loses the management more income than they made through part time stalls/pop up shops.

Unfortunately, when faced with such a crises many management companies/organisers decide to allow even more 'here today gone tomorrow' traders  in an attempt to boost their income to balance the losses from less and less permanent stallholders/shopkeepers. 

Management and organisers end up in a vicious circle. Year on year they allow more and more 'here today and gone tomorrow' traders because there are less and less permanent traders to balance their books.

Put yourself in a stallholders/shopkeepers position, would you like to invest tens of thousands of pounds in stock and rent, spend months barely breaking even only to find that when the best trading days are approaching someone with a paste table sets up in competition just a few yards away?

If the Council and Shopping centre don't get a grip there will be no market or shopping centre left.

I would also like to add before anyone comments, this is not about traders griping about competition, all traders constantly compete with other traders, this is about unfair competition.

Read the full story from the source Winsford Guardian

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