Local shopping at Preston Market
Last week, Preston Blog published the first article in a four-part mini-series celebrating the independent businesses that trade in Preston Markets and reaching out to people who shop there.
This week we explore more of the market hall and find out why shopkeepers would like to encourage people in Preston to ‘shop locally’.
It is early Friday morning in the market hall of Preston Markets and queues are beginning to form at many stalls.
Livesey’s Butchers stall was established in Preston Market 20 years ago. People come from as far away as Manchester for butchers’ knowledge and products. This family business prides itself on working with independent farmers, wholesalers and artisan suppliers, supplying local restaurants as well as the community of Preston and beyond.
“You get really good service,” Adrian Livesey said. “If you need your meat diced, we will. All staff working here are highly qualified. We get to know people, we have laughs and jokes.
During the pandemic, butchers in Livesey delivered meat throughout the day and into the evening. Since then, they have seen young families come to shop at the market. Parking, however, seems to them to be a problem.
The issue of parking and navigating the traffic system to Preston is an issue that some Preston Markets traders have commented on. A few reported that ongoing roadworks as part of the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway scheme near the market have affected commerce, with pedestrians unable to cross the ring road near the courts.
“We were surprised to see the ring road was blocked off so people couldn’t park on the other side of the ring road and cross over,” said Karen Davie of Karen’s Collectables on the Box Market. “People now have to go down the ring road, cross and walk back up. They also removed bus stops near the market.
It’s something that resonates with Jonathan Strand, who runs Arthur Strand’s delicatessen.
“Parking could be improved. I have friends in my area who would love to travel to Preston to shop here, just park outside and walk through quickly but they can’t so they are reluctant,” he said. -he declares. “Some of our customers used to park on the other side of the ring road, but due to the works, access was blocked.”
Preston Blog asked Lancashire County Council if there were plans to install a temporary walkway where the previous one was to allow people walking from Lawson Street quick access to the market and town centre.
A Lancashire County Council spokesperson said: ‘A temporary pedestrian crossing which has been put in place near Lawson Street has been moved to Market Street while we install a signaled pedestrian crossing.
“The temporary crossing will return to Lawson Street once we have the north side infrastructure in place and will remain in place until work on the south side is complete.
“All work related to the Transforming Friargate North and Ringway project is due to be completed by March 2023.
“Traffic management measures will remain in effect until the day of completion to ensure the safety of highways officials and the general public.”
Read more: Council speaks out after members of the public caused chaos by removing cones and signs to reopen Friargate
Despite the parking issue, Jonathan is incredibly positive about the market and all it has to offer. The Arthur Strand Cooked Meat stand was established in 1972 when the original indoor market opened. Jonathan, Arthur’s son, now runs the delicatessen of the market stalls which offers a wide range of fresh and preserved meats and pies, defending local products. Like many stalls in the market hall, it is very popular, with long queues and friendly, knowledgeable staff.
“There were some teething problems when the market hall opened,” Jonathan said, “but now it’s much more positive.
“During and after the pandemic we served a lot of young people to shop for their parents and they still come, it’s great to see.”
He continued: “On Saturdays, young families come to shop, they realize the quality and that’s what we want. They can buy us pork pies, sausages from Livesey’s and fruit and vegetables from one of the fruit stalls. We have everything they need. We try to be competitive with our prices and everything we sell is of very high quality. The people who shop and eat here eat very well.
“We have regulars who we know by first name, you don’t get that in a supermarket. We have served two or three generations of families.
“People come from out of town and spend the day in Preston. We have visitors from Blackpool, Blackburn and other places. It’s a little gem, Preston Market.
In addition to food, the market hall also houses stalls selling bags, handbags and luggage, boots, shoes and sandals, makeup and wigs, body jewelry and watch straps , cell phones and iPads. At the front of the market, Pete runs Bossy Boots which sells boots, shoes, sandals and slippers at affordable prices.
UR Phones have been in the Preston market for 9 years, offering same day repairs on electrical gadgets. In addition to repairing phones, iPads and other electrical devices, the stand sells cell phones and accessories. The Jewelers Market has been in operation since 1998; Adrienne began her career installing watch batteries in her father’s jewelers when she was 13 years old. Today, with many qualifications under her belt, Adrienne is a skilled and skilled jeweler.
Valérie Sargeant has run Wise Buys Hair and Beauty in Preston Market for 40 years. Her expansive stand sells wigs, extensions, hair accessories and makeup.
“People are coming back to the market,” she said. “There is a good atmosphere, a lot of choice. More and more people are coming from out of town. It’s definitely getting better.
Founded in 1965, Sheridan’s Bags sells a wide variety of handbags, backpacks, purses, wallets, as well as luggage and totes. Gail Maudsley’s parents first opened the stand to the outdoor market. Gail remembers being a child and sitting in an egg carton under the counter for the day, eating a sandwich and reading her comic book. Gail and her parents saw the covered market hall built in the early 70s and moved inside. When she became a teenager, she was allowed to serve. Gail’s husband David started working on the stand in the early 70s.
“It’s just a job that we’ve always done,” Gail said.
It’s clear from the way they get excited about the market that it’s a job they love and are passionate about.
“People are happy we’re here, they wander all over town looking for a bag or a wallet and they can’t find anything. Many stores have closed. They don’t want to buy online because it’s expensive to send something back. Customers like to be able to touch and feel a product, they want to open it and look inside. If they’re going to a wedding or reception, they need to see that the color matches or complements what they’re wearing. The colors don’t always match if they buy it online.
Gail and David like to see new traders opening up to the market and succeeding: “50% of our trading comes from people who know we are here. New merchants bring new customers to market. People get to know you, they come back to shop, and they trust you because you’ve been here a long time. We have people who say they would rather support a small business.
Gail’s parents used to keep a guestbook, inviting people around the world to sign it when they visited their stall.
“People from all continents have visited Preston Market,” said Gail. “When international students first arrive in Preston, they come to the market with their families, because back home a market is where they usually shop. We have clients who face their families in their home countries, bringing gifts and gifts home to the Philippines or India, for example. »
Gail and David believe Preston Market has weathered the pandemic storm as food stalls have been able to open.
“It was always a destination,” Gail said. “Many markets remained closed throughout the pandemic, so people changed their shopping habits and unfortunately did not return. Food traders here at Preston Market have done very well to stay open and that meant that when we were able to reopen again people were still used to shopping in the market.
“It’s one of the busiest areas of the city. There’s a buzz, if something’s happening, it’s happening here!
Next week we’ll talk to a market trader battling negativity directed at Preston’s market on social media, and talk to box market traders and find out why Mark, who runs the record fair, likes to do trade in Preston.
Preston City Council pointed out that the Market Surface Car Park is a short stay facility located near the Market Hall. It is accessible from the ring road.
Preston Market Hall is open Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. Individual merchant hours may vary. Contact individual traders on the Box Market for their opening hours. Preston’s open-air market is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The flea market takes place on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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