Great By Name, Great By Nature
The new ‘Greatie’ (Great Homer Street) Market officially opened in October 2014 and has seen crowds of shoppers flock to the site every Saturday since. It moved 150 yards down the road from its historic home to a new facility (still boarded by Scotland Road) just off nearby Dryden Street, following a £2.2 million investment from Liverpool City Council for the Geraud run market. Great Homer Street was once a thriving shopping area and, as such, was an integral feature of the history of the Scotland Road area. Great Homer Street became world famous and played a major part in the history, heritage and culture of Scotland Road and indeed the city of Liverpool.
A market has been situated in the area for over 120 years and has gone through many transformations. The market was originally known as ‘Paddy’s Market’, this then changed to ‘Cazaneau Street Market’, which stuck for numerous years until it changed for the final time to ‘Great Homer Street Market.’ In 2003 Geraud Markets (UK) Ltd and Liverpool City Council joined forces to create Geraud Markets Liverpool Ltd. This partnership now runs over 1,200 regular market days each year, in addition to this there are 100 Speciality Event Market Days, providing residents and tourists with access to excellent choice, value and quality. Geraud Markets won a European tender to run the markets for 15 years, which takes them up to 2018. The brand new site has 180 10x10m pitches on the outside market and 86 8x6m pitches on the inside market. It has also allowed the outside and indoor market to run alongside each other, where as before they were either side of the road. The indoor market is held in a restored building on the site, which has had new toilet facilities, CCTV, a heating system and a new cafe all added to it and has been very popular.
There are 156 FREE car parking spaces available for customers and also 95 designated spaces for traders. The popularity of the market since it opened has already meant they are looking at not only extending the market, but also the car parking to cope with the volume of customers the market receives. It is also presently a Saturday market only, however planning will allow for it to eventually trade three days a week, which would be one day in the week, every Saturday and every Sunday.
Trading three days a week would also allow the market team to look at having themed markets, for example a Collectable, Vintage Fashions or Antiques Market. Some traders travel quite a distance to stand at Great Homer Street Market, with one trader telling me it is worth every single penny. The market is currently 100% full to it’s a capacity with traders and has been since day one, which has lead to the market team having to turn traders away. However, there is a waiting list you can join by contacting Groupe Geraud and they will also recommend one of the other markets they have in the area for you to trade on. The new market has not only managed to keep all of its regular customers, it has also attracted many new ones from near and far. This is something all of the traders have noticed and commented on. As soon as you arrive at the new ‘Greatie Market’ you can see just how busy it is before you have even got out of your car. Walking around the market there is a fantastic energy and buzz in the air, traders interacting with customers and between themselves, leaving the aisles full of laughter and smiles.
Everything you experience leaves such a good impression that you want to not only return to the market yourself, but also bring others with you so they can experience it. One lady who had visited from Pontefract previously had returned and brought with her a 50 seater coach full of excited shoppers because of her recommendations. Many of the great characters at this famous market have traded there for years, some for over 30 years. This enhances your visit even more as there is always a story to tell and memories to share. There have been many well know high street fashion designers in Liverpool who have started out trading at the market. One example is Kirsty Doyle; she started at the market selling her range of clothing and went on to enter a competition on Sky One called ‘Project Cat Walk’, which she ended up winning.
Traders arrive at the market from 6.00am to set up their stalls, with the market opening at 09.00am, however customers often start arriving at the market from 7.30am to try and beat the rush. The official opening time for the market is every Saturday 09.00am to 16.00pm.
There is a very wide and eclectic range of products available at the market, making it a one stop shop for customers. The market is managed by brothers Paul and Eddie Sabatina, alongside Operations Manager Pam Linnet- Richardson. All three have a wealth of experience in the markets industry and strive to provide an excellent working relationship with both traders and customers. If you would like to find out any further information about this market, go on the waiting list for ‘Greatie Market’, or any other market Groupe Geraud run, you can contact them on 0151 233 2165; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the website www.geraud.co.uk. A member of their friendly staff will get back to as soon as possible and endeavour to answer any questions you may have.
Groupe Geraud’s Contracts and Business Developments Manager, John Connolly, told MTN,
“Great Homer Street Market, or Greatie to anyone who knows it, has proved the old adage wrong when they say you can’t move markets. The market has survived up to a minimum of five moves now over the past 120 years and ironically traders who have traded on the market for many years believe it’s now back in the position it was many years ago. It has survived and grown stronger because it’s become Iconic and part of the culture of Liverpool. There are a number of traders who have been on the market for over 40 years, a true testimony to the connection between trader and market. “Liverpool City Council have given a clear indication of how much they support markets in Liverpool by investing in this fabulous site, creating an even better offer. I know the people of Liverpool and all market lovers will appreciate the new Greatie. Come and visit the new market and experience a great day out in the city of Liverpool.”