Well Street traders join forces to tackle dwindling footfall behind the market stalls
PUBLISHED: 12:39 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 14 August 2017
Shopkeepers in one of Hackney's oldest trading streets have joined forces to try and reverse its dwindling footfall.
Well Street Market, where Tesco founder Jack Cohen first sold his wares, may have been relaunched last year, but the shops behind the stalls have not benefited.
Now traders have formed the Well Street Shopkeepers alliance to help protect and serve their businesses.
“We are concerned with the continuing low footfall of the street and the need for us to improve the local economy,” said Kevin Jones, of the NuDawn cafe and function room.
“We want to see the development of the street and its businesses as a local shopping parade.
“We also need a joined-up marketing strategy for the street and its businesses as a whole and are talking to Hackney Council about how we can make this all work for the better of the whole community, not just some parts of it.”
The market was reopened on a monthly basis in December, helped by a crowdfunding campaign – backed by Sadiq Khan – that raised £80,000.
"We are concerned with the continuing low footfall of the street and the need for us to improve the local economy. We want to see the development of the street and its businesses as a local shopping parade"
After a successful six months the town hall moved it to a weekly market in July.
But shopkeepers say their stores haven’t enjoyed the same renaissance.
The alliance has already held two public meetings, attended by a number of shopkeepers in the street.
Some of them reported reduced takings because of the street being closed off to cars every Saturday.
Kevin added: “Residents, shopkeepers and stallholders want to work together collectively to make the Well Street shopping area and market a real success in partnership with the council.”
Jo Price, owner of AG Price florist – a business in the street for 50 years – said there needed to be more consistent effort to get the 23,000 people living within half-a-mile of the road to shop there regularly.
“We want the local community to continue shopping locally – and feel the street still serves their needs and is for them,” she said.
“We will also be pressing for the pro-active re-occupation of Well Street’s vacant shop units as pop-up shops.
“The continuing shuttered shops are a blight on the shopping street.”