Saturday, October 15, 2005

The English Market

What if the English took a market to France and nobody came?

Newbury's market traders are objecting to a French market in the town, because it would "take their trade away" at Christmas. This seems to miss the point of free market economics.

If the regular guys want to hang on to their margins, they need to sell better quality produce than the visitors and make people prefer the home team's stuff, by making a play on their unique selling point, locality. Relying on artificial restrictions like number of allowed pitches and days of trading is not going to cut it in this day and age, but with rising energy costs and global warming to think about, selling things in the area they are made or grown is vitally important.

The customer is the one who needs to vote with his or her wallet and they will be induced to flash the cash if they are seduced into buying. The market needs to be an experience. In these darker days of autumn especially, the lights, the aromas and the entertainment factor of a market can help to empty the stalls.

Many column inches are being devoted to the impending move of the market, to make way for the re-paving of the market place. This is vital for improving the townscape, and needn't be bad for trade whilst the work is going on. By staging events in the area of the temporary venue - street entertainment, food stalls, try-before-you-buy offers and such like, the people of Newbury can be tempted to become buyers.

Some of the usual traders have asked if the French would put up with an English market in their towns, hence my question at the outset. If they could create a strong demand by stressing the benefits of their goods and produce, the public clamour would be irresistible to the French authorities.

Hiding behind the 'rules' is just so last century.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great blog i like the english/french market debate