'Keep it local': Stallholders urge Christmas shoppers to spend, spend, spend

City shoppers urged to take their Christmas shopping efforts to the local market. 

City shoppers urged to spend festive cash on Norwich Market. - Credit: Denise Bradley/Sophie Skyring

Businesses on Norwich Market are determined Covid will not ruin their Christmas.

And stallholders are urging folks to do their festive shopping locally this year in a bid to super-charge the city's economy.

Scott Alan, who owns the hat stall at the front of the market, said he had been pleasantly surprised by footfall so far but fears new Covid restrictions could hit sales.

"It’s been much busier than I thought it was going to be," he said. 

Scott Alan runs the hat stall on the market and wants people to continue to use the market

Scott Alan runs the hat stall on the market and wants people to continue to use the market to ensure the money goes into the local economy. - Credit: Sophie Skyring

“But I am still speaking to people who have not been in the city for two years and they are coming in now to put their money into the economy. 

“Though it still isn’t normal - you can tell that some people are staying away.” 

Thursday late night Christmas shoppers out in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thursday late night Christmas shoppers out in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

And he urged people to shop on the market this Christmas adding: “You are keeping local businesses going - every little helps.”  

Most Read

Scott’s most popular item this year is the Peaky Blinders-style caps.  

Nicola Herbert who works at Taxi, a popular vintage clothing stall, thinks the weather is more likely to keep people away than the virus. 

Taxi is a very popular vintage clothing stall on the market, and they have seen steady sales throughout. 

Taxi is a very popular vintage clothing stall on the market, and they have seen steady sales throughout. - Credit: Sophie Skyring

However, she said: “We have been quite busy, we’ve seen that sustainability has become popular.  

“People care about where their clothing is coming from so are more inclined to shop second hand and vintage. 

“Where possible I think people should be using the market for their Christmas shopping to help the local economy at this difficult time.  

Thursday late night Christmas shoppers out in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thursday late night Christmas shoppers out in the city. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

“There are 70 local families that run this market - they all have stalls and the whole family works on them. That’s their livelihood - by shopping on the market you are shopping small and local. 

“It doesn’t get any more local than this.” 

The fish stall has seen remained busy through the pandemic and sales are set to increase in the run up to the big day.  

David Neech works on the seafood stall and has been pleased to report that they have been very busy. 

David Neech works on the seafood stall and has been pleased to report that they have been very busy. - Credit: Sophie Skyring

David Neech, who works on the stall, said: “We are so lucky to have been busy right the way through. 

“We have found Covid to be beneficial because it’s brought people to the market as it’s all outdoors.”  

The stall has seen a huge rise recently in their prime items such as lobsters, crab, salmon and halibut. 

David added: “If you shop here, you know it’s going to be fresh, that’s what people like.” 

Norwich Market and the City Hall clock Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Market and the City Hall clock Christmas lights. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

History of Norwich Market 

Today Norwich Market consists of around 200 stalls right in the heart of the city but it has been trading for around 900 years.  

It was founded in the 11th century to support Norman merchants and settlers who had moved to the area.    

The market was radically redesigned in the 1930’s with neat rows introduced and the city hall built running along the top overlooking the market place.  

Very few changes were made for many years but 2003 a proposal was submitted to radically change the design, this plan was abandoned in 2004.  

Instead, they chose to keep the rows, but replace the tables with steel units.