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‘Southend town centre market will ruin trade at Roots Hall’
8:41pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
TRADERS are furious over plans for a new market in direct competition with them at Roots Hall.
Stallholders at the Southend United ground fear customerswill think they are no longer open when the new market opens in the town’s High Street on Thursday.
The traditional market and boot sale has run at Roots Hall ground for more than 20 years on a Thursday.
Paula Smith, who has had a knick-knack stall for almost 20 years, said: “A lot of customers think we’re closing or going to the new market.
“Well we don’t want to because there are so many restrictions, like not having our vans with us, and it’s a longer day.
“It’s unfair to have it on the same day as ours. This could have a big effect on our business.”
The market and Roots Hall football ground will eventually make way for a new Sainsbury’s supermarket.
This will happen once Southend United build and move to its new grounds at Fossetts Farm.
Paula added: “Our market will close eventually, but we’ve been told we have another two years here.
“If it was on a different day, traders could do both if they wanted, and it would bring more people into town on two days of the week.”
Fellow trader Amber Glasby, who sells household items and toiletries, agreed.
She said: “Everybody is getting extremely het up about this.
“People in town will start to use the market there for the convenience, and we will lose trade.
“Trade is not as good as it used to be, but I’m happy here and want to stay. Only a couple of traders have chosen to move.
“A Friday town market would work much better.”
Council bosses say they did consider a different day, but traders who expressed an interest in coming to Southend chose Thursday as they had other market commitments for Friday.
Andrew Moring, Southend councillor responsible for corporate support services, admitted Friday was his preferred day.
He said: “The Roots Hall traders have the sword of Damocles hanging over them with Ron Martin’s plans for the new stadium.
“We are providing the stall holders with alternative venue on the same day so in the longer term it gives them somewhere to go straight away and not be out of a job."
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