Mansfield Market traders hope shoppers return amid business fears

Traders in Mansfield town center market stalls hope to see a recovery in business after covid rules are lifted, but some fear the trade will never return to a boom period.

A meeting of the Mansfield District Council Synthesis and Review Committee found that pit occupancy rates at Mansfield have fallen by 33% since 2019/20.

While it’s up 8% from last year, that can probably be attributed to the nationwide lockdown that took up much of 2020.

This largely indicates that the coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on the city’s market stalls. Changes in purchasing habits also have an important effect.

Workers said they had noticed a change since the lockdown, but were reluctant to blame all the blame on the global pandemic.

Alex Yorke, 65, who has had his booth for 28 years, said: “I think attendance is definitely down and hasn’t returned since the pandemic.

“It’s not just Mansfield, it’s everywhere.

“I sell a lot of stocking fillers, but I’m not feeling very Christmas right now.

“But it was also difficult last year at Christmas.

“We reopened after the first pandemic on December 4, we had three weeks and then had to close again until April.

“When I came back in July it was good – it was like people remembered that they could come back and shop.

I don’t know how much the pandemic has affected this business, but it hasn’t really returned to normal yet.

“I tried working online but it’s not the same – I sold a bit but I hate it.

Market revenues also fell 53% from levels a few years ago.

In the 2019/20 period, Mansfield Markets took in over £ 40,000, more than double what has been achieved so far in the 2021/22 period.

Other stall sellers have suggested that their business has been in decline for many years anyway and that the pandemic has had less impact than some think.

Dean Rozzoni, 49, who has worked at his booth for over 30 years, said: “Business is going well, I always thought you get what you put into this business; like with every job.

“It’s a job where you always have to think, you want to make things different, grab people’s attention, and put things in a different place.

“It’s tough the way it is today – it’s a dying profession, they’ve been dying for years and I don’t think it will ever come back to where it was years ago.

“I’ve been here to do this since about 1988 or 89.

“But you know they’ll always be there, but I don’t know if they’ll ever bounce back like they did.

“Personally, I don’t think the pandemic has really hurt the market.

“It is difficult to start a business these days, any business you will find it difficult. “

Mansfield District Council has confirmed that market stall rules have returned to their pre-pandemic status and normal allocation rules have resumed.

Another man who runs a booth in the city center who wishes to remain anonymous doesn’t think the Covid has changed much for his business.

He said, “Not for me, it isn’t.

“I haven’t noticed a change since we reopened at all.”

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