Leeds city market stall owners facing tough months

  • reporter 
Leeds City Kirkgate Market – Photograph by Joshua Hall

By Joshua Hall

The changing weather is forcing Leeds City Kirkgate Market stall owners to close up shop and take a hit on revenue.

The historic market is host to over 800 stalls both inside and outdoors, but those outside are facing a tough decision as the seasons change.

With the cold and wet weather beginning to set in for the foreseeable months there has been a lack of interest from members of the public in visiting the outdoor portion of the famous market.

Stall owners such as John, aged 46, who runs a fresh produce stand believe it’s not worth coming out when the weather is bad.

“When the weather is like this we just don’t make enough money.

“There’s not enough people coming through here and it’s a waste of time to come out.

“It’s always like this at this time of year, but it’s getting worse now that so many people are shopping online too,” he said.

Many stall owners have decided to not come out and make a decision on their business based on the weather forecast for the day.

The courtyard has become an empty shell of what it looked like mid-summer with so many deciding to not trade in the inclement conditions.

Other stall owners have complained of the lack of appropriate shelter on the stalls causing damage to their inventory.

One tobacconist and smoking paraphernalia stall owner told Yorkshire Voice he was losing money because of it.

He said: “I’ve had a tonne of products ruined today already. The rain damages it and then I can’t sell it anymore. Sometimes when it’s raining heavily I’ll lose more product than I actually manage to sell.”

With the convenience of online shopping and the more recent introduction of grocery deliveries through apps such as Deliveroo many customers don’t want to come out and get wet if they don’t need to.

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