It’s been a long time since the Covid pandemic first broke out in the UK, and lockdown measures prevented in-person markets from operating. However, with lockdown restrictions largely lifting on 12th April, how will markets bounce back post-Covid? Let’s discuss…
How were artisan markets doing pre-Covid?
Despite the rise and rise of online shopping in recent years, local and artisan markets were still operating well. Farmers Markets were found up and down the country, with people loving organic, artisan and locally sourced food and produce. Nothing beats the atmosphere of wandering around a local market of a weekend, finding quirky craft markets or farmer’s markets with fresh produce and treats, where you can find something delicious for tea afterwards.
Pedddle was founded on this ethos – we aim to provide a directory to make it easy to find markets near you, wherever you are in the country, and shop from stallholders that you’ll find at small events or that you’ve discovered at a previous market. Pedddle offers various membership packages for markets and the stallholders that sell at them, working on a range of innovations, marketing materials and small business support, to help improve market footfall and support British trade.
However, the Covid outbreak forced in-person events to shut, with local artisan markets and their stallholders taking a big hit in many ways. Although many small businesses were able to turn online, this was not possible for all of them, with event organisers struggling too.
What happened to markets during the Covid pandemic and the subsequent UK lockdowns?
Covid and the subsequent lockdowns prevented in-person markets from taking place. Event organisers lost millions of pounds in revenue and small businesses took a massive hit – making it more important than ever before to shop small and locally whenever you have to opportunity to do so from now on. It will truly make such a difference to the British economy as we navigate the post-Covid world.
As people across the country turned to online shopping, we wanted to continue to support artisan trade and local markets. Initially, Pedddle began to host online markets for our stallholders, as a way to diversify and assist during the pandemic. However, as time went on and the pandemic progressed, our sister website, Tresstle, was born. Tresstle is an events platform solely dedicated to hosting online markets, helping small businesses to sell more easily online, and assisting market organisers with a ready-made events platform so that they can easily organise their own online markets. Click here to see the events we have coming up on Tresstle.
The founding of Tresstle meant that Pedddle could return to its original function as an online directory for markets and their stallholders. As well as helping small businesses be found online, we also offer business tips, motivation and great offers for our members. For instance, Pedddle are partners with Square card readers, helping stallholders to go cashless at markets; a real benefit post-Covid as people are handling physical cash less and less, and again assisting with social distancing measures when people can so easily swipe their card at a market. Click here to see the benefits of joining Pedddle as a stallholder.
How will markets bounce back post-Covid?
As we return to ‘normality’ (or a ‘new normal’) following the Covid outbreak, both Pedddle and Tresstle will continue to support markets and their stallholders across the UK. In-person markets are re-opening, whilst the concept of ‘online markets’ continues to thrive. We will always need a mixture of both; not everyone is able to attend in-person events and many like the ease of shopping online, however, being able to attend a local event means you get to find small businesses near you and you’re guaranteed a great day out and a lovely atmosphere.
If you want to read more about how the retail landscape has changed in the wake of the pandemic, click here to read our recent blog on this.
So, what’s next?
You may have heard that the Pedddle team has grown recently, and we’ve taken on two new recruits! You may spot some of the Pedddle team at a market near you soon, so keep an eye out for us! If you want to find out more about the team, head over to our Instagram highlights to see more.
We can all contribute and do our bit for small, independent and local businesses across the UK. Whether you buy from a small business or simply give them a follow and a few ‘likes’ on social media, we can all continue to raise up small businesses by finding makers, markets and stallholders local to where we are. Happy shopping, everyone!