Getting Christmas wrapped up

I always try to be honest when I am writing, and I think that it would be fair to say that, unfortunately, pretty much every market in the UK at the moment has empty stalls that traders and customers stand around moaning about. Maybe there are empty stalls on your market? And maybe, just maybe, you have moaned about them too? Although, if you look past the empty stall angle, it is possible to see this a massive opportunity, quite literally a “gap in the market”

With Christmas around the corner, that in itself, is one massive opportunity to increase sales, your customer base and of course those all-important profits!

So, have a look around, literally, right now! I take it that most of you read MTN at work? So, spin round 360 degrees and have a look at your market and what opportunities are staring you straight in the face. It might be something as simple as an extra room for more stock? A changing area for customers? Space to offer a gift wrapping service for your items or even offer that as a service for items bought elsewhere? Even something as exciting as a Christmas pop-up shop and do a massive flash sale? Trees, Wreaths, Decorations?

Maybe you are happy doing what you are doing and don’t want to expand? O.K. that’s fine. Why not use an empty stall space as a Santa’s grotto and turn it into the go-to place for all the kids to see Santa this Christmas? We did this on my local market years ago and it worked a treat. We had no empty stalls at the time, so our market manager put up a large garden shed, and we used that. It attracted old, existing and plenty of new customers – some of which had lived in our market town for years and never even visited the market! A great way to drum up custom and a really fun thing to do too!

Look at the empty stalls and visualise what they could be. You could take advantage of what markets are amazing for, and ask your existing customers what they would like to see on the market over the festive period. People pay companies thousands of pounds to organise focus groups to get people’s opinions on products, where as a trader, you can get this type of information absolutely free, from real life customers, in real time, just ask them direct!

When you have decided on your idea, TELL people about it. A good idea is one that you take action on, and these days there are so many ways to do that; posters, word of mouth, social media, advertise in the local press, magazines… all publicity is good publicity and free publicity is even better. If you’re having a Christmas market, then make sure everyone knows about it. Get in touch with your local paper and radio station and tell them all about what is going on. They are always looking for decent community stories, so help them out and contact them, the radio station might even decide to do an outside broadcast from your market!

So what are you waiting for? Hopefully you have already had a look around and have loads of ideas, so take action, go on do it now. Christmas is around the corner and you could make it on your market too!

Keep in touch, I always love hearing what you guys are up to.

Twitter: @Theadamcorbally
LinkedIn: Adam Corbally