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Cost of living crisis wreaks havoc for Kirkgate Traders

“I earn 50% less than what I used to” said one struggling trader.

Leeds market traders are paying the price for the continued cost of living crises with many saying profit margins are barely remaining in the black.

Nadir Derdar, 52, who runs the M’Deena stall renowned for its mix of Algerian and Moroccan food, said “his reputation” is the only thing keeping customers coming.

However, with increases to the price of parking, visits from his regulars have become infrequent. The issue around parking at the market has been a longstanding one between Leeds City Council (LCC) and traders, with many feeling the councils’ inflexible stance is “killing them from all angles” and compounding existing issues.

Trader Nadir Derdar in the midst of cooking his signature Kabob dish

Nadir also stressed that customers are “reluctant” to pay parking fees alongside having to drive into the city centre, leading to their consumer needs being met elsewhere. Much to the detriment of Kirkgate’s business owners.

“The cost of rent” Nadir added, “that’s what they can help us with” he said when probed on the kind of assistance he wanted to see from the council and by extension the relevant government authorities.

Nadir’s frustration is one shared by many traders operating their businesses out of Kirkgate market and with inflation continuing to rise to unprecedented levels currently sitting at 10.1% as outlined by the Bank of England, it is making for uncertain and testing times.

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