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Market goes upmarket
TRADERS say businesses has picked up since their market pitches were given a makeover by consultants from Debenhams.
The High Street chain was invited in to help Basildon Market to modernise four of the traders’ stalls so they would be more attractive to shoppers.
Traders selling Italian menswear, home furnishings, sweets and printed goods, all say they have benefited from the idea – put forward by Basildon Town Centre Management, which runs the market.
In the longer term, the management group has even bigger plans form the market, includingamove to St Martins Square in 2015.
Hans Wustefeld, from the management company said: “The team working with us is helping the traders with signs, advertising and marketing support. They’ve completely taken each stall apart and changed it.
“The stalls are looking really good. It’s made a big difference to what it was before.”
As a result of the revamp, Gavin Kimble, 38, has changed the focus of his Granny’s Pancakes and Waffles stall, to concentrate on his most popular products.
The experts suggested he could focus on selling sweets, which are popular with customers.
Now re-named the Sweet Shop, it no longer makes waffles, though Mr Kimble still cooks fresh crepes and sells ice creams and milkshakes.
Mr Kimble, of Witchards, Basildon, said: “I had my own ideas, but it’s nice to have someone else come in and improve it and bounce ideas off each other. I’ve seen a 5 or 10 per cent sales increase since the change.
“It’s now all bright pink, which has made the stall really stand out.
“It’s still a market stall, but it feels a bit like a shop. People can sit inside and drink milkshakes, or eat ice creams, but with more sweets, it will mean I’ll be OK through the winter.
“It goes to show what the market could be like in the future if and when it moves.”
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