End of an era for Scunthorpe Market traders who won't be moving to St John's Market

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 11 Mar 2019

While some shoppers and businesses are looking forward to the opening of St John's Market with excitement, it's the end of an era for traders who are not making the move.

A significant number of traders at the existing Scunthorpe Market are unable or unwilling to carry on doing business when the new facility opens on Friday, March 22.

The relocation of the market from its current Market Hill site to the former BHS store has been controversial and has met with opposition from some traders and shoppers since it was announced.

See inside St John's market as refurbishment work continues

Some market traders who have turned down the opportunity to move have blamed higher rent costs at the £4 million site, described as the "Meadowhall of markets" by the contractor carrying out the refurbishment, which would make it unsustainable for them.

Some traders are moving to new premises, while others will be retiring. 

Jeff Sewell, who runs the Gimme Golf stall, said: "Rent for me would be twice as high as it is now. I've been told I would bring in more money over there, but customers aren't going to find twice as much money. They have a budget.

Jeff Sewell, who runs Gimme Golf Ltd in the current Scunthorpe Market, won't be moving to St John's Market when it opens later this month (Image: Scunthorpe Live)

"I would need to be bringing in £1,500 a month and I only do that twice a year currently.

"There are also traders here who come from as far away as Leicester, so it just doesn't make sense for them to do that journey five days a week instead of two like they do now."

Some traders who were deterred by rent costs at St John's Market are opening their own shops elsewhere in Scunthorpe town centre as a cheaper alternative.

Stevie, who runs Barney's Sweets, said: "We had a look around the new market but in the end we decided that if we were going to make a break, we might as well do it on our own.

"We're moving to Ravendale Street under the name Lucky Tuppence. It's half the price that a stall at the new market would have been and five times as large."

Aladdin's Cave owner Chris Ross has also found his own premises on Cottage Beck Road.

Aladdin's Cave owner Chris Ross has found new premises rather than move to St John's Market due to rent costs (Image: Scunthorpe Live)

He said: "The new market was too dear. I considered doing a pop-up stall and had a look around, but in the end it didn't make sense.

"Being there from 8am to 5pm just wasn't viable either, as I have to pick my daughter up from school. With my own premises, I can set my own hours."

Craig Loxley, who runs The Pie Stall, agreed that being asked to open five days a week was putting traders off from moving.

He said: "My rent would already be going up 400 per cent a week and I'd have to buy more produce for the extra days that we were open.

"Most traders here are only open two days a week, so it's a big jump to being open all five."

Mary and Keith Wilkinson are believed to be the longest tenants, having run Harry's Footwear for 46 years, but will be retiring when the market closes.


Mary Wilkinson, who has run Harry's Footwear with her husband Keith for the last 46 years (Image: Scunthorpe Live)

Mary said: "It was just too expensive to move over. We had been looking at retiring, but this mind our mind up.

"My husband and I have run this stall for 46 years, so we're very sorry to see the market go. It's the end of an era.

"I'm not sure if a two-storey market will work, but I hope for the other traders it will."

One trader said he had also been put off by new competition within the market.

Paul Bird, who runs Bird Nest Records, said: "I was interested in moving into the market but I found out another second-hand vinyl seller will be moving in there too.

"Having two isn't sustainable, one or both of us would have ended up going out of business. I've been at this market 30 months so it's a bit frustrating to not be able to carry on, but at the end of the day it’s a business decision."

A selection of stall units in the new St John's Market, which is due to open in Scunthorpe town centre on Friday, March 22 (Image: David Haber/Scunthorpe Live)

Scunthorpe Live got a sneak preview of the new market recently as it nears completion.

A spokesman for North Lincolnshire Council said: "St John's Market is a multi-million pound investment in Scunthorpe town centre that is creating a unique shopping experience for visitors.

"This investment has enabled us to bring the vacant former BHS store back into use and provide a modern new home for traders.

"The brand new market is in a prominent position in the town centre with free Wi-Fi and public toilets, and will attract more people to the market. With free parking available in our car parks you’ll be able to shop at your leisure in St John's Market and make the most of The Food Court.

"We have more than 50 traders on board selling a variety of items. They will all be ready to welcome customers when St John's Market opens its doors on Friday, March 22 at 8am.

"The new market forms part of wider regeneration plans for Scunthorpe town centre. We are fully committed to developing Scunthorpe and making it the best place to live, visit and invest.

"It is a really exciting time for Scunthorpe. The investment will help drive the economy and encourage further development."


The full list of traders who will be at St John's Market when it opens

The following new traders will be based in The Food Court at St John's Market

  • Sweet Treats
  • Emelia’s Bar
  • The Oasis
  • Burger Shack
  • Panini King
  • Ali’s Food Hut
  • Food 2 Go
  • Mark's Gluten Free Treats
  • Taran’s Nut Free Tiffin

New traders bringing their businesses to St John's Market are:

  • Jubilee Sweets
  • The Collectors Emporium
  • The Rug Stall
  • Alpha Building Plastics
  • Miller’s Mix
  • L&H Laser Crafts Ltd
  • Print Parrot
  • Smartstore UK
  • Pandora’s Box Babywear
  • SK Trends UK
  • Nappa’s Chilli Sauce
  • O’Keefe’s Emporium
  • Laura’s Sweet Occasions
  • Liquid Mist
  • Vinyl Jewels
  • Taylor’s Family Butchers
  • MB Smoking
  • TR Textiles

Businesses moving from the existing Scunthorpe Market to the new facility are:

  • Springtime Eggs
  • Kilty Cuts
  • Dawson’s Fresh from the Field
  • Jim Bale
  • Wool Paradise
  • Anna Belle Designs
  • WA Betts Jewellers
  • Tutti Fruitiers
  • Panda Cards
  • Bacon Charlies
  • Angelo’s Butchers
  • Judges Butchers and Meat Pie Specialists
  • MJ Capps and Son
  • Kevin’s Hosiery
  • Gail’s Handbags
  • Bela Moda Boutique
  • The Toy Man
  • Teasdales
  • Barnes
  • Wanda’s Books
  • Alan’s Watches
  • Denim Discount
  • Gem International Trading Co Ltd
  • Veer Beauty
  • RK Clothing
  • The Perfume Stall
  • Bling & Things
  • Brothers Duffy Entertainment
  • The Petite Pantry



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