'Great' start for indoor marketBy Jon Nurse
August 15, 2012
Entrepreneurs and traders who cannot afford rents and rates to open a shop in Wokingham believe the town’s indoor market is the answer.
The indoor market opened its doors for the first time on Saturday in a bid to bring more shoppers to the town.
Around 20 stallholders, selling fabrics, jewellery, cosmetics and gifts, almost filled the former Peacocks store in Market Place.
Sarah Pinnell, 27, of Rose Street, who was selling fabrics, said: “Traders like me would love a shop in the town but we can’t afford them. I’m going to be here the full three months of the trial and hopefully it will then become permanent.”
She added: “I think this market is going to do great. It’s good to see most of the stalls are taken.”
Mike Piper, 55, of Wokingham, who was selling end of roll bargains from his mobile carpet business added: “This is an economical way of having a shop window. The market is a good idea. It’s not another empty shop, which seems to be a problem in every town at the moment.”
The market, which is open for a three month trial, has also provided an opportunity for start-ups.
Sonia Paul, 24, of Wild Briar, Finchampstead, seized the chance to have a stall after a turbulent year of employment since finishing university. She said: “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. I’ve been made redundant, left another job and had temporary work since last summer.” The graduate was selling hand-crafted Indian jewellery thanks to help from Prince’s Trust enterprise programme.
Miss Paul added: “My mentor with the trust told me about the market and I booked myself in as soon as I could. I’ve always wanted my own fashion and jewellery business and I started Lotus Eye in April.
“I’d like to have my own boutique in Wokingham one day, then Reading and expand around the country.”
The market, which was suggested by town councillor Gwynneth Hewetson, was opened by Wokingham town mayor Cllr Peter Lucey. He said: “Wokingham Town Council is committed to the market and I’m really delighted with this addition.
“It’s one thing to say we should have a craft market and quite another to seize an opportunity and organise it.
“I’m really pleased to see it full today and I’m sure the market will be a great benefit to our town, and to stallholders, residents and visitors.”
Niki McGlynn of Luckley Wood, who was selling her Niki’s Organic Balms therapeutic products at the market, added: “I heard about this market on facebook and thought what a fabulous idea. Anything that fills empty shops is good.”
The market is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9am to 4pm, with charity stalls and table-top sales on Wednesdays.
Anyone interested in having a stall at the indoor market should call Rob Vincent on (0118) 974 0881 or 07847 602186 or email email@example.com.