Traditional market makes a comeback

St Helens Star: New look: Jordan Bennett at the Beauty Box market stall      DGE130514 New look: Jordan Bennett at the Beauty Box market stall DGE130514

MARKET traders are hoping a fresh vision will bring back the glory days.

They were speaking as part of the Love Your Local Market campaign, which is running nationwide.

In St Helens, both St Mary’s indoor market and Earlestown market are being promoted at a time when St Helens Council is trying to deliver ideas that will give them new impetus.

Traditional markets have faced competition from budget stores and changing shopping habits but varied stalls at St Mary’s still offer local produce, everyday essentials and specialised items.

Natasha Shields, who runs Tiny Toes babywear at St Mary’s market, explained how, as a 19-year-old, she started up with £200 and now, at 22, she can supply anything ‘from socks to cots’.

She said: “Business is getting better and has improved over the two years I’ve been here.

“We are trying to get the market back to how it used to be, and the varied events held here now are adding to the flavour. Customers enter as strangers and leave as friends.”

Market cafe owner Sonny Oluyombo, from Prescot, has been in business there for more than 10 years.

He said: “You can’t walk into Tesco or Asda and get the variety of goods we have here.

“Each stall is specialised and the prices are competitive.

“We can adapt immediately and offer goods people want. We provide a personal touch.

“It’s a challenging situation for traders, but it’s not doom and gloom.

“It’s no worse for us than any other business in St Helens and we are trying our best.”

After 28 years trading in the town, Rakesh Vij from Rainhill admits he has to sell a lot of bags just to cover the overheads.

“The market has been neglected but, hopefully, with the improvements being introduced, it will bring back the customers.”

At Earlestown, the market tradition dates back 700 years and Earlestown Friday market – next to the town hall – attracts stallholders from across the region, with more than 150 stalls offering everything from pies to protective clothing.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:00pm Thu 15 May 14

barrie timpson says...

Market cafe owner Sonny Oluyombo, from Prescot, has been in business there for more than 10 years.

He said: “You can’t walk into Tesco or Asda and get the variety of goods we have here.


That's akin to somebody saying " Our planet does not have a moon". It must be one of the biggest slips of the tongue or lies since Labour claimed to be for the working class.

Tesco offers everything that the market can offer and much more.
So basically the crux of the article is that the Market is being advertised , nothing new just that. You need a decent town centre for people to com to before things will improve.

If the council really want to help , maybe they could drop the rates?
Market cafe owner Sonny Oluyombo, from Prescot, has been in business there for more than 10 years. He said: “You can’t walk into Tesco or Asda and get the variety of goods we have here. That's akin to somebody saying " Our planet does not have a moon". It must be one of the biggest slips of the tongue or lies since Labour claimed to be for the working class. Tesco offers everything that the market can offer and much more. So basically the crux of the article is that the Market is being advertised , nothing new just that. You need a decent town centre for people to com to before things will improve. If the council really want to help , maybe they could drop the rates? barrie timpson
  • Score: 6

6:18pm Thu 15 May 14

The gobby 1 says...

Oh yeah I just love going round the market looking at all the lovely closed shutters and not forgetting all the "unlock" your mobile phone stalls, face it, the market is a dump, but that's ok though coz it matches the rest of the town centre, Widnes is a much better market, and Warrington is a much better town centre, I'd much rather pay to park there and enjoy my shopping than pay to walk round viewing pound shops, charity shops and mobile phone shops!!!!
Oh yeah I just love going round the market looking at all the lovely closed shutters and not forgetting all the "unlock" your mobile phone stalls, face it, the market is a dump, but that's ok though coz it matches the rest of the town centre, Widnes is a much better market, and Warrington is a much better town centre, I'd much rather pay to park there and enjoy my shopping than pay to walk round viewing pound shops, charity shops and mobile phone shops!!!! The gobby 1
  • Score: 12

1:08pm Sat 17 May 14

St Mary says...

Hello Barrie,

Thanks for your comments, evidence that people have read the article. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sonny Oluyombo who was one of the traders interviewed by the star for this article. As you can appreciate, the comments used by the star were not used in it's full entirety, as I gave reasons to justify my views too.
As a Prescot resident, I do support my local shops and that is why I feel it is important for St Helens folk to support THEIR local shops - as opposed to increasing the million pound profits made by our nationwide supermarkets! I know that when I walk into my local butchers in Prescot high street I am greeted by "Hello Sonny what can I do for you today?". No amount of spend in Tesco or Asda will get you that, I would just be another face!
I do agree with you around the issue with the "rates" but that is a matter for the council to take up.
As for traders in St Mary's market, sometimes it isn't plain sailing. But on a whole, you will never meet a better group of individuals committed to delivering a 500% service to customers. They are there day in day out trying to make a go of their passion which is to improve on their skills, products and businesses.
As Natasha said in her statement above, business can only get better. And now that there is an upturn in the current economic climate, hopefully that will be the case! The traders and their products are there for you, we just need locals to support it. The MORE footfall we have, the more NEW traders will come in, the LESS metal shutters on view. It's a vicious circle but we need your support.
Look forward to hopefully seeing you and possibly converting you to a market shopper.
Hello Barrie, Thanks for your comments, evidence that people have read the article. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sonny Oluyombo who was one of the traders interviewed by the star for this article. As you can appreciate, the comments used by the star were not used in it's full entirety, as I gave reasons to justify my views too. As a Prescot resident, I do support my local shops and that is why I feel it is important for St Helens folk to support THEIR local shops - as opposed to increasing the million pound profits made by our nationwide supermarkets! I know that when I walk into my local butchers in Prescot high street I am greeted by "Hello Sonny what can I do for you today?". No amount of spend in Tesco or Asda will get you that, I would just be another face! I do agree with you around the issue with the "rates" but that is a matter for the council to take up. As for traders in St Mary's market, sometimes it isn't plain sailing. But on a whole, you will never meet a better group of individuals committed to delivering a 500% service to customers. They are there day in day out trying to make a go of their passion which is to improve on their skills, products and businesses. As Natasha said in her statement above, business can only get better. And now that there is an upturn in the current economic climate, hopefully that will be the case! The traders and their products are there for you, we just need locals to support it. The MORE footfall we have, the more NEW traders will come in, the LESS metal shutters on view. It's a vicious circle but we need your support. Look forward to hopefully seeing you and possibly converting you to a market shopper. St Mary
  • Score: 13

1:12pm Sat 17 May 14

barrie timpson says...

Sonny , my problem is not with the good traders of the market my friend , but with our totally inept council , who unfortunately talk a good fight , but fail to do anything worthwhile to help the local traders.

Good luck to you.
Sonny , my problem is not with the good traders of the market my friend , but with our totally inept council , who unfortunately talk a good fight , but fail to do anything worthwhile to help the local traders. Good luck to you. barrie timpson
  • Score: 10

9:05am Sun 18 May 14

mikeashworth says...

St Mary wrote:
Hello Barrie,

Thanks for your comments, evidence that people have read the article. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sonny Oluyombo who was one of the traders interviewed by the star for this article. As you can appreciate, the comments used by the star were not used in it's full entirety, as I gave reasons to justify my views too.
As a Prescot resident, I do support my local shops and that is why I feel it is important for St Helens folk to support THEIR local shops - as opposed to increasing the million pound profits made by our nationwide supermarkets! I know that when I walk into my local butchers in Prescot high street I am greeted by "Hello Sonny what can I do for you today?". No amount of spend in Tesco or Asda will get you that, I would just be another face!
I do agree with you around the issue with the "rates" but that is a matter for the council to take up.
As for traders in St Mary's market, sometimes it isn't plain sailing. But on a whole, you will never meet a better group of individuals committed to delivering a 500% service to customers. They are there day in day out trying to make a go of their passion which is to improve on their skills, products and businesses.
As Natasha said in her statement above, business can only get better. And now that there is an upturn in the current economic climate, hopefully that will be the case! The traders and their products are there for you, we just need locals to support it. The MORE footfall we have, the more NEW traders will come in, the LESS metal shutters on view. It's a vicious circle but we need your support.
Look forward to hopefully seeing you and possibly converting you to a market shopper.
great to hear some positive messages, make sure you come and tell your story, promote your business during #sthelenshour on twitter every monday 8pm
[quote][p][bold]St Mary[/bold] wrote: Hello Barrie, Thanks for your comments, evidence that people have read the article. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sonny Oluyombo who was one of the traders interviewed by the star for this article. As you can appreciate, the comments used by the star were not used in it's full entirety, as I gave reasons to justify my views too. As a Prescot resident, I do support my local shops and that is why I feel it is important for St Helens folk to support THEIR local shops - as opposed to increasing the million pound profits made by our nationwide supermarkets! I know that when I walk into my local butchers in Prescot high street I am greeted by "Hello Sonny what can I do for you today?". No amount of spend in Tesco or Asda will get you that, I would just be another face! I do agree with you around the issue with the "rates" but that is a matter for the council to take up. As for traders in St Mary's market, sometimes it isn't plain sailing. But on a whole, you will never meet a better group of individuals committed to delivering a 500% service to customers. They are there day in day out trying to make a go of their passion which is to improve on their skills, products and businesses. As Natasha said in her statement above, business can only get better. And now that there is an upturn in the current economic climate, hopefully that will be the case! The traders and their products are there for you, we just need locals to support it. The MORE footfall we have, the more NEW traders will come in, the LESS metal shutters on view. It's a vicious circle but we need your support. Look forward to hopefully seeing you and possibly converting you to a market shopper.[/p][/quote]great to hear some positive messages, make sure you come and tell your story, promote your business during #sthelenshour on twitter every monday 8pm mikeashworth
  • Score: 3

12:07pm Mon 19 May 14

xsuex says...

so they improve the market, yet all the decent shops are closing! Dorothy Perkins/Burtons being the next to bite the dust!!
so they improve the market, yet all the decent shops are closing! Dorothy Perkins/Burtons being the next to bite the dust!! xsuex
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree