Traders' anger over continental market

TRADERS in Felixstowe today told of their anger after stalls at a continental market blocked their premises - deterring customers and robbing them of business.

TRADERS in Felixstowe today told of their anger after stalls at a continental market blocked their premises - deterring customers and robbing them of business.

Some shop owners said even though the market attracted massive crowds to the resort, they had one of their worst days ever.

They are also upset at the setting of some of the stalls in Hamilton Road with market traders selling the same goods right outside their premises.

There was a gift and handbag stall outside award-winning gift shop Glyph, delicatessen The Good Food shop found Devon pickles, jam, olive and cheese outside, and there was a Bratwurst sausage stall opposite the Wimpy.


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Carol Jones, owner of Glyph, said it appeared no thought had been given to placing the stalls.

“You could not see the entrance to my shop and therefore my customers could not get to me,” she said.

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“New visitors to Felixstowe would not know I was there.

“I was not the only shop in this situation. You could not see Hallmark/Thornton's, YOURS, The Good Food Shop, Clinton Cards, Claire's and Tchibo - in fact, all the shops at the beginning of Hamilton Road were blocked, unless of course you were prepared to walk behind the stalls and jump over generators.

“When you got to the bigger stores such as Marks & Spencer, Woolworths and New Look there were no stalls.”

Some shops had to resort to giving away free promotional products to tell people they were there.

“This to me is not a sign that the market was working for the town centre. If I had promotional products I could have given away I would have done the same - unfortunately, I had to sit back and watch trade pass by,” said Mrs Jones.

“It is the quality of the shops in our town centre which also helps bring the visitors to Felixstowe all year round.

“We need to keep these shops alive. Anything that will bring in trade to the town is good, but this market was so badly planned it actually caused a lot of damage.”

Peter Dawes, chairman of the chamber of trade, which organised the market, said there had been a lot of positive feedback about the market with some traders saying their takings were up 70 per cent.

“There will always be a mixed bag of views on an event like this and as a chamber we want to hear positive and negative feedback and it is vital we then meet with people with concerns to make sure the same problems don't happen again,” he said.

Would you like to see the market return? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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