Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Markets beginning to take off

The Parramatta Farmers Market, in the Church Street Mall every Friday is beginning to take off – at last.
Stallholders want to see more stalls, up from 25 to 40, to create more buzz. A council report noted the next stage of the development of the market would see additional stalls at the venue. This would occur upon the completion of a $4 million upgrade of the mall later this year.
Some stall holders want to extend the closing time from 2.00pm.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that a solid base of return customers is being built up. Respondents to a customer survey showed that just over half visit the markets weekly, 67 per cent visit the markets either weekly or a few times a month.
That 68 per cent of customers first discovered the markets by passing by is no surprise. The venue, outside the town hall, is without a doubt the busiest thoroughfare in the CBD with thousands of commuters on their way to and from the bus/tail interchange – the markets opened at 7.30am – CBD workers passing through on their way to Westfield at lunchtime, not to mention visitors to the city.
Lunchtime, as expected, is the busiest time of the day with the food stalls the most popular but a number of stallholders would like more variety, with dairy and meat the most products mentioned.
However, stallholders believe more effort could be spent on the marketing of the markets. Council said external advice would be sought to improve marketiong and promotional activities.
“The principal shopper group remains the local workforce and new, smarter techniques need to be developed to reach this group,” the council report said.

All in all 90 per cent of stallholders said the market was meeting expectations because of its location, it was well run by council and had growth potential


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