Broadway Market in Hackney has everything that a great market should be. I've passed away many Saturdays at Broadway Market, but haven't visited for a while and when i did return on Saturday i left reflecting on just how good the market really is. Whether by accident or not, it has the magic formula for creating the perfect market.
Broadway Market is lucky to be in such a position. There are so many factors which influence how successful a market is. Mastering the formula is tricky chemistry, it's more than just how affluent its visitors are. It got me thinking, why does Broadway Market work so well and what is the formula for creating the perfect market? With GLA funding for the regeneration of high streets being made available, markets-in-need are expected to receive help. Change of any kind takes time, but i think every market organiser can learn from the successes of Broadway Market. Here are 5 things which i think help to make Broadway Market a great place.
1. Identity & Community
Broadway Market in Hackney has been labelled a "hipster community"
Broadway Market has a strong identity which is reflective of the community it has chosen to serve. It is tailored to fit the creative, cool and affluent culture-vultures who live in the immediate & surrounding areas. You know that they love and appreciate it. A successful market should serve those who care the most about it. It should brand itself towards those who want to spend their time and money there. When thinking about how to regenerate a market or high street then involving those that care is a great place to start. Having a united market community will help to create a strong market identity and the community will collectively buy-in to any proposed changes.
2. A fabulous supporting high street.
Enjoying the delights of Broadway Market, London
Great markets need great high streets and great high streets need great markets. They thrive off each other, they drive visitors to the market and encourage them to stay and return again and again. Collectively they keep the economy flourishing. The shops on Broadway Market are niche, independent and unique to the local area. It has remained Tesco and Starbucks free which is highly commendable. It also has great pubs, restaurants and cafes which are a reason to visit in itself.
3. Communication is at the heart of the Market Shopping Experience
Delicious Mushroom Risotto at Broadway Market
The absolute unique and wonderful thing about markets is that you can have face to face contact and communication with the businesses selling. Markets are naturally sociable places and fundamentally the communication exchange starts with buyers and sellers. You can learn first hand about the products you want to buy, where they come from, how they're made and the story behind them. This is something that the commercial high street cannot compete with. As someone who loves markets, being able to have face to face contact and communications with the creators and sellers of wonderful things is what visiting markets is all about. At lot of the time the seller is just as important as the product itself. As a consumer you buy into the whole package and the people behind the stalls at Broadway Market are great.
3. Great Traders who are there every week
Locals shopping at the flower stall on Broadway Market
A market is nothing without great traders and Broadway Market's are certainly premier league. Broadway Market is fortunate as it's inundated with people wanting to trade there. The stalls are again in keeping with its audience. The products on sale are of excellent quality, well presented and unique with a sprinkle of exquisite, which suits the pockets of this affluent neighborhood. Another plus for Broadway Market is that because the traders themselves have to work hard for their spot at the market, they in turn work hard to retain their place. The market is home to the same regular traders each week so stall owners are able to build up their local customer base. Visitors know that they can find those traders there every week, which gives them a reason to visit the market. Climpson & Sons Coffee is a great example of this. The same people will go there to buy their coffee every week. They are a Broadway Market institution and their consistency large queue speaks for itself.
4. Mix it Up and do it well
Vintage and upcycled home decor from LA LA Leanne.com at Broadway market, London
Whilst we're thinking about traders, i think it's the fine mix of different traders and products at Broadway market which help to keep the market thriving. Whilst great food earned its reputation, today the market offers a lot more than hot food and fresh produce. This market literally has something for everyone. Whether you want to shop arts and crafts, home decor, vintage and clothing, sustainable products, fresh produce or eat amazing hot food this market has it all.
5. People want to hang out there
The Cat and Mutton Pub is a popular place to hang out and watch Broadway Market Pass by
Broadway Market is an energetic and vibrant social hub. A great market is a place where people want to pass-away the afternoon, shop, eat, drink, meet friend or make new ones, people watch and soak up the atmosphere. The whole make-up of Broadway Market and its visitors make the area a place that people want to hangout at. The local cafes, pubs and restaurants who have outdoor seating and open doors make Broadway Market a welcoming and comfortable place to hang loose. You'll never get told you can't use the toilet at Dukes. People are free to come and go as they please, which is a great thing. A successful Market needs to be social, it creates a strong sense of community and great vibes all around.
By Katie Ingham, Do you agree? I's love to hear any comments or thoughts on this.
Do you run a stall or business on Broadway Market? Create a free listing for your business on I Love Markets.