Traders and shops are reporting a huge boost in trade and footfall in the town centre, following the opening of St John’s Market in Scunthorpe on 22 March.
North Lincolnshire Council opened St John’s Market following a multi-million pound investment to relocate the market to a prominent position in the town centre.
More than 60 traders have been trading at the brand new market for three weeks now. Many traders that moved from Scunthorpe Market have reported an increase in their trade due to the move.
Gail Green, from Gail’s Handbags, had been trading on Scunthorpe Market for years before making the move to St John’s. Speaking about the new market, compared to the old site, she said:
“Even aside from the people coming just for the newness and excitement of the opening, I still think the footfall is going to be about double to what it used to be.
“I’ve had a lot more trade than I expected. I would say we are doing about triple to what we were at the old market. A few other people in this market have said the same thing; it has taken them by surprise as it’s more than they expected.”
Smartstore UK is a new stall to the market, selling home furnishing and ornaments on the first floor. Owner Peter Britcliffe said:
“The first few weeks have been brilliant. The first Friday was proper good, there were a lot of people and a lot of sales. Saturday was very busy again, a lot of really good sales and I sold stuff that I’ve never sold before on my website. Then the Saturday just gone I’ve took more sales than I have in four years.”
More new traders have expressed an interest in starting up in St John’s Market since the opening, and there are now around 10 traders on a waiting list for stalls on both floors.
Bakery stall Teasdales has also seen a boost in trade and footfall. Manager Sophie Ketteringham said:
“We were at the old site but now we’re doing sandwiches and cooked meats and a bigger range of cream cakes and things because we have a better display area. We’ve done really well; there’s been lots of positive comments about the stall and the market as a whole.
“We’ve seen thousands more people – especially on a Friday and Saturday – there’s just a sea of people. I’m really pleased and I’m glad that our new ranges are doing well.”
The popularity of St John’s Market has also provided a boost for other shops and businesses in The Parishes, The Foundry, and across the town centre.
Ashleigh Lamming, Store Manager at Costa Coffee in The Parishes, Scunthorpe, said:
“The first weekend the market opened, we were hugely busy, to the point where we sold out of everything. As the week went on we thought it would die down, but it didn’t!
“It’s been really good for us, because before that opened we didn’t really know if this shop would last much longer. Now, since the market’s opened, our taking have gone up massively, to the point now where we’ve been able to take more staff on as well.
“A lot more people are coming down this area now; it’s crazy. I’m really happy.”
Ashleigh also said she didn’t visit the old market, however, “now, it’s right there, I’m using it as a customer as well.”