Are market traders really a dying breed?

Are market traders really a dying breed?

As you might know we are relatively new to this business and one thing that has struck us about it from our first ever market is what an eclectic and largely friendly bunch our fellow traders are and as the years have gone by it has been quite humbling to have been so well accepted into the business, its fair to say we have made many friends along our journey to where we are now.

When our new van hit the road we were expecting some negativity as we do appear a little flash and to be reinventing the business but most traders have commented favourably on our enterprise and foresight even if they might cast us a jealous scowl when we are packed up in 30 min and it takes many of them 2 hours!

Anyway as we have come to know this weird and wonderful group of people it is inevitable that our conversations often come round to basics like the ever present question “how did you do today?” the answer to this is often increasingly negative and I often hear the comment that market trading is a dying business but is it really?

Its certainly fair to say that business is ever more challenging and its fairly obvious that if Debenhams and House of Fraser find it tough then we are going to find it more so but I believe we are survivors and that we have some unique advantages over the big names and if we exploit these then maybe the future is bright.

Firstly we are mobile unlike a shop keeper if a venue isn’t working for us we can move to somewhere that is, also if a particular line isn’t performing well, we dont normally have thousands of units to dispose of so can sell them off and move on relatively quickly. What I’am saying is that flexibility of stock and the ability to move makes us unique in retailing.

Unfortunately though, despite feeling upbeat, we are being forced into abandoning some markets that are just not making money for us, at one time we were attending markets on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday but sadly it seems that the weekend is the only time we can turn a profit, we will make occasional appearances at some mid week markets but our emphasis this year is going to be on developing our online business and of course our Saturday visits to Limerick and Sunday at various venues, hopefully this will help us combine the best of both worlds.

So, to answer the question I do believe that the future for traders in Ireland will not favour the traders that turn up in a plain van with no identifiable company name or brand as increasingly they will have to go online to survive and I think we need to give customers the confidence to buy from us, I have noticed a few people buying say a Stanley knife or tape at a market will remember “that fish crowd” and order a larger item online a few days later, so I think the future is bright but it is about managing retail time and online time, what do you think? I always love to hear from you.

We also have a few events booked again and so be sure to follow our facebook page for our latest news and day to day events.

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