New discount stores hit sales at market –…

New discount stores hit sales at market – new report claims

MARKET traders have seen sales fall due to two high profile city centre stores opening – a new Council report claims.

On Wednesday, Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee will receive an update on plans for the city’s markets.

It is the first time the committee has discussed the issue since the announcement that Kirkgate Market, based in the Kirkgate Centre, will shut once the new Darley Street Market opens in 2022.

The original plan for the Council’s market reorganisation was for Oastler Market to close, replaced by a new purpose built food market on Darley Street, and for Kirkgate Market to be refurbished, becoming a specialist non-food market.

But late last year the Council revealed the Kirkgate Market would now close once the new market is complete.

The report going to the scrutiny committee gives more detail on why that decision was made.

Kirkgate Market to shut once new Darley Street Market opens

It says the opening of TJ Hughes and re-location of Boyes into the shopping centre has impacted the market, and said it was eventually decided the new market would prove too much competition for Kirkgate traders.

The report reads: “The impact of the new composite market on the viability of Kirkgate Market has been carefully considered and led to the conclusion that Kirkgate Market would struggle to compete with the non-food offer in the new market in Darley Street, even following its refurbishment.

“The new market is likely to be the preferred choice from existing non-food traders in the Oastler and Kirkgate Market.

“Traders in Kirkgate Market have reported fall in sales due in part to the introduction of two major discount stores, Boyes and TJ Hughes, in the Kirkgate Centre as they are unable to compete both in terms of price and product range.

“Therefore, the Council’s decision is not to continue to operate two separate market halls in the city centre, and duplicating non-food sales from both the new market in Darley Street and Kirkgate Market.

“The Council will not carry out its planned modernisation plans for Kirkgate Market and traders from both markets will be invited to apply for space in the new market in Darley Street.

“The Council will work with the owners of the Kirkgate Centre over the proposed closure of Kirkgate Market alongside the Oastler Centre, which will take place when the new market on Darley Street is completed.

“The vast majority of traders at both markets also support this view and see a single composite market, along with its market square, as the right decision for ensuring the future viability of the markets offer in Bradford city centre.

“The enlarged market scheme will have a greater positive regeneration impact by revitalising Darley Street resulting in over 50 per cent of the frontage facing the Kirkgate Centre currently unoccupied being redeveloped and improved, with the new market along with its market square creating strong pedestrian flows in this part of the city centre.”

The Committee meets in City Hall at 5.30pm on Wednesday.