Twelve new market traders are busy preparing their perfect pitch, ready for the re-launch of Bolsover Market on Friday.
The fledgling business owners have recently completed the UK’s first and only specialist market trading master classes in the UK.
They will unveil their stalls this Friday, 13 March, on Bolsover Market Place, North Derbyshire. Bolsover was granted a market charter by Henry III in 1225.
Almost 800 years later, and market days are still held there on Tuesdays and Fridays, with stalls ranging from fishmongers to flowers.
Now, following construction work to upgrade the town centre, Bolsover markets are being re-launched to welcome the new traders and showcase their skills.
Albert Burton, 59, who will be launching his hand-made bespoke jewellery business Beautiful & Precious, said he was looking forward to the big day. “Following a house move to Bolsover 18 months ago, I wanted to earn a little and be part of my new community. The ‘How to Start a Market Stall’ master class gave me the confidence and prompted my decision to begin a stall. I am extremely pleased to be starting out as a market trader.”
“Markets can offer a level of personalised customer service and a unique shopping experience to rival larger high street retailers, and are modernising to compete, so I’m excited about the potential ahead,” he added.
National Market Traders Federation mentor and experienced market trader Keeley Flint has led the master classes and coached the new stall holders over the past two months.
She said: “The master classes were fully booked, and nearly everyone who attended has gone on to start a new stall, which is a great result and demonstrates the potential that market trading offers.”
“They now have the foundations to start earning quickly and the potential to start strong, sustainable businesses,” she said.
“I’m a great believer in the unique experience of shopping at a market and the social and economic importance of markets in towns like Bolsover.
Markets are getting switched on to digital services like ‘click and collect’ and home delivery, ensuring that they will thrive in today’s shopping culture.”
For more information about Bolsover, visit *www.discoverbolsover.co.uk , email email@example.com, follow us on Twitter @alloverbolsover or like our Discover Bolsover facebook page
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NOTES TO EDITOR
Keeley Flint Biography
Keeley Flint, 40, is from Saltergate, Chesterfield Keeley has won various funding grants and is backed by European Regional Development Fund (via the Bolsover project), and the National Market Traders Federation. Keeley has been a retailer since the age of 21 when she began her first market stall on Chesterfield market, which eventually became four stalls on Mansfield Market.
Since then she has worked in sales for high street stores, designer outlets and had her own chain of boutiques, employing up to 20 workers and with a turnover of more than £500,000.
She currently has a stall on Barnsley market and Mansfield market. She has operated markets in 10 towns and at specialist markets such as Thoresby Sunday Market and Netheredge specialist street market in Sheffield.
In 2013/14, she was contracted as a mentor by the National Market Traders Federation as part of its First Pitch initiative with one of her mentees a semi-finalist in the competition. Trading as How to Start a Market Stall, Keeley has developed taster sessions and full day Market Trading Master Classes.
Keeley views every empty stall as a job opportunity for an unemployed person, and can foresee the potential small businesses available for disadvantaged people, especially 18-30 year olds; over 50s; ex-offenders and other NEETS.
Keeley is experienced at sourcing wholesalers and negotiating credit terms. She is very keen to promote specialist markets, especially in key tourist locations and encourage trading at alternative times such as evenings and Sundays.
“These markets are successful in other areas and can be replicated in the Bolsover district.” She has produced professional standard marketing videos for her business on YouTube.
She has a Level 3 NVQ in Retail and has mentored and encouraged many of her staff to work towards qualifications in their chosen field. Keeley says: “Working for myself has enabled me to travel the world and now be debt and mortgage free. I have a passion and enthusiasm to support people and feel that I have the experience to help them set up a successful market stall business.
My research suggests that this is a sustainable business with a predictable income stream and I understand that there is a bounty for 18-24 year olds to be placed in suitable employment or self-employment.”
Angles and statistics about markets • Successful markets have a positive impact upon town markets and town centres, reducing deprivation, increasing trade, improving vitality and the local economy. • Market stalls are evolving to compete with other retailers and getting savvy with online technology, such as e-commerce, social media and mobile card payments. The industry is professionalising. Gone are the days of Del Boy and the Toby on UK markets. Keeley is actively working to pioneer some of this digitisation to enable market traders to compete. • *Total spend by shoppers at retail markets in the UK was estimated at £3.5 billion in 2008. And retail markets employ an estimated 95,000 people in the UK in 2008, with a further 10,000 people employed in wholesale markets. There is evidence to suggest that markets create more employment than other forms of retail. • Markets play an important role in supporting new business creation by providing low cost entry to retail trading. The National Market Trader Federation’s (based in Barnsley) scheme, First Pitch, which in 2013 launched 100 new retail businesses on markets all over UK, is proof that markets can be launch pads for entrepreneurs. • *Markets traders come from all walks of life. Markets are great tools to provide opportunities for self-employment. For example, young people and the unemployed, in the case of NMTF’s Young Trader scheme.
*Statistics from National Market Traders Federation
EUROPEAN REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND PROGRAMME *The Discover Bolsover project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding