Better marketing, easy-to-access locations and favourable opening hours are the keys to getting more young people enthused about retail markets.
That was the view of international market experts, debating how to engage the next generation at the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) conference in London on 25 September.
According to Niels Brandt, a Danish consultant in food and retail concepts, where markets are located is critical to attracting young people. “You have to be where it’s cool to be to be cool, or you are not going to attract young people,” he said. “Opening hours are important too: youngsters don’t go shopping at 8am. It’s better to be open at 9pm.”
Marketing is another critical area, according to Brad Latham, CEO of Sydney Markets in Australia, who stressed that traders needed to play their part. “To attract people it’s about a targeted marketing campaign. We have a compulsory advertising levy on each trader. We spend that levy on the marketing strategy that we work out together with the traders.
“You have to make the markets a destination. For example we held a kids’ carnival at the retail market, which brought in 20 per cent more customers than normal. The key is getting them to return. And you have to make the place customer friendly, and easy for them to park. We have a multi-storey car park, and have just installed lifts so people can carry their produce back to the car.”
Meanwhile Jean-Paul Auguste, chairman of Groupe Geraud in France, said people needed to forget old ways of working and look after the future. “We need young people – they are the future old people,” he said. “We must give people the products, setting and atmosphere they need, and have an appropriate covered site.”