Parkhead Market Village
The new look revealed
It’s a year since I last visited Parkhead Market Village in Glasgow and major renovation works were in place. These are now completed and I went to see the results.
Situated inside the Forge Shopping Centre, The Market Village Parkhead is managed by Neil Gillespie who has been at the helm since 2008 and therefore knows his traders and business well. There are 74 units in total and now that the works are completed, these are quickly filling up with five new traders due to start the week after I visited.
The market offers free trader parking with unloading areas and full CCTV. The units are clean and bright, with laminate flooring, LED lights and signage provided (individual phone lines not included) And all services are included in the rent. There are over 1400 free car parking spaces and regular bus routes dropping off outside the door. The immediate area is a big customer shopping destination with several major retail parks and facilities just a stone’s throw away. The market has its own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and a banner advert promoting the market is on the Glasgow Evening Times website. Within the market itself, ‘coming soon’ posters are placed on the vacant units and TV screens placed in the windows facing the shopping centre promote the various goods available within the Market Village.
I caught up with some of the existing traders, new and old to find out their thoughts on the improved Market Village. Corbie have been trading at the market for 15 years selling blinds, curtains, soft furnishings and accessories. They offer both an off the shelf and a made to measure service on some of their lines. The Manager of the unit told me that the renovation has improved the area saying, ‘It looks much better, the layout is nice and the appearance is good. We have regular, repeat customers, it’s all about having the right products at the right price and giving great service.’ Jen’s Haby and Fancy Dress have traded at Parkhead for 27 years. They have a loyal customer base and are seeing the third generation of customers come through. They have created a flip through book situated outside of their unit for customer’s to peruse, leaving the aisles clear for other customers. They are pleased with their refit and new layout.
Archie Anderson came to the Market Village in February having previously traded at Forge Market across the road. Anderson’s Fresh Fish is a small unit, but situated next to Charlie’s Butchers, he gets the benefit of their huge loyal following and there is a natural progression from meat to fresh fish. He is pleased with the trade he has built up and is getting regular, repeat customers.
Opposite his fish stall is Rumbles, a type of rummage store that Archie runs with Margaret of Margaret’s Boutique. They source various discounted lines and so the stock is always changing, making sure that customers return to see what’s new. Margaret started Margaret’s Boutique in March, selling plus sized clothes, underwear and handbags. Her clothing rages from 16-32 and she is the only retailer in the area catering for these sizes. She told me, ‘It’s great, I get to sell all the things I like. It’s a friendly market and trade is good.’ Margaret has a bubbly personality and has built up a good trade of people coming through. Kenny of the Piercing Studio has an established customer base and as well as performing piercings, he sells smoking accessories and some models. He has been at Parkhead for 17 years and has the monopoly on piercings at the moment. He thinks the renovations are a big improvement. Mary Mackay from Personal Pressies agreed saying, ‘It’s much better now that the refurbishment is finished. It’s much brighter and the comments from customers has been really positive. It’s a vast improvement.’
Having the Forge Market across the road and also operated by Groupe Geraud is actually an advantage to many of the traders at the Market Village. It allows them to have a satellite stall at Parkhead and a seven day a week presence. Blind Options are just one of several traders who operate from both premises.
Tom from Balloons4uGlasgow.com is another and he was very positive about the improvements to the market. Sal of SSS Direct is pleased that the disruption has come to an end and said of the refit. ‘It’s much better, it looks good and it’s a much brighter, cleaner environment.’ Ferguson’s Needs and Feeds are a well-established pet supplier with 27 years of trading at the market. They are just in the process of moving to their final location which will allow better viewing of the birds and fish without causing a bottleneck in the corridor. They’re not concerned that customers won’t find them as there will be relocation signs put up and ‘they’ll hear the birds and find us!’ Brian at Daughter’s Café has had about a year in his new location and told me that the market is ‘much better since the improvements have been done.’ Neil wanted to take the opportunity to ‘thank the traders and customers for their loyalty and cooperation during the disruption of the refit.’
There is a number of spaces available for rent, essentially working off a six month licence agreement with a deposit required and fully inclusive rents paid weekly – although there is currently flexibility to this, as they would like to fill the void units. Neil is offering reduced rents until January to help kick start your market career through the busy Christmas period so now is a good time to get in touch.
Neil Gillespie: firstname.lastname@example.org 0141 550 2710 or 07476 187 628