Leeds Kirkgate Market, one of the largest indoor markets in Europe, is set to move online later this month through sustainable scheme Good Sixty.
The Good Sixty initiative originating from Borough Market in London, aims to bring local food retailers and businesses together in one place online.
With its upcoming launch in Leeds, shoppers will be able to browse and buy from a range of smaller market shops virtually, putting money straight back into our local economy.
Chris Edwards, founder of Good Sixty, said: “Leeds Kirkgate has a wealth of independent producers, but it really is a matter of ‘use them or lose them’.
“If we want to help our high streets and food markets thrive, we need to resist Amazon and other retail giants, especially at this time of year.
“Supporting independent retailers and producers has never been more important. It not only helps generate an income for these great local businesses but also helps to recirculate wealth back into the communities where we live.”
“Covid has given rise to a new sort of business, like an online marketplace where one supplier will source from all separate little suppliers and sell them from one umbrella term,” said Panda Refills owner Aimee Brown, a zero-waste free shop based in Kirkgate Market.
“After Covid, a lot of shopping went online and now food has gone online.
“It doesn’t really work as well for refills independently but, with the Kirkgate market launching Good Sixty next month we will be able to order food through the market and have it delivered through a zero-emission delivery service.”
The Good Sixty initiative does not exclude anyone, with even the local butchers getting involved.
Nathan Thorpe from Malcolm Michaels Quality Butchers Ltd described the scheme as “a website, sort of like a Deliveroo, but for the market.
“We had a couple of girls come down and take pictures, so now we are fully online.
“Since Covid, we have had more business online than we have ever had. We use social media massively, so we are on Facebook and Instagram every day.”
As well as London, the scheme already exists in cities including Bristol, Oxford, and Exeter, and is expected to launch in Leeds on the October 25th. By providing a sustainable, convenient, and competitively priced alternative to a giant chain supermarket shop, as Chris Edwards says, “people begin to understand the difference it makes to them and their community; it quickly becomes a no-brainer to support our local independents.”