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“We Just Don’t Want to See it” – Leeds market owners speak up about devastating living costs

  • reporter 

By Ryan Sharp

The current living crisis has left many unsure of how to maintain their budgeting and day-to-day outgoings.

Many business owners are questioning the logistics behind efficiently running their trade, whilst also trying to appeal to their consumers – this is currently evident through what traders describe as plummeting sales in Leeds Kirkgate Market.

The market, located in the centre of Leeds, is renowned for being Europe’s largest indoor market and averages around 138,000 visits per week.

People shop at Kirkgate Market for various products, from exotic fruit and veg to household appliances to seasonally appropriate clothing, all within walking distance from one another. This is what has attracted a plethora of shoppers to this Leeds landmark.

Despite the local shopping destination still gathering reasonable numbers, there are a number of vacant stalls and some stall owners are worried that a gradual inflation in product costs and energy bills will drive their customers away.

Charlie, 18, who runs Whitaker’s Farmhouse Eggs & Cheese stall said:

“Prices are rising, and less people are buying which means we make less money, and means we have to make cuts on things we don’t want to.

“We’ve seen others get rid of produce that doesn’t sell as well, and even get rid of staff members and we just don’t want to see it”

Prices are rising for stall owners at Leeds Kirkgate Market

Considering the size of the market, a lot of stall owners rely on a large quantity of buyers to ensure they can continue to run their trade.

An unnamed clothing stall owner claimed the living crisis hasn’t affected his produce “yet” but is worried about the knock-on effect that the future increase will have on their intake of customers in years to come.

In spite of the market still being somewhat unaffected by living costs at this current moment in time, there are pleas for awareness to be brought around a difficult upcoming period for such a historic venue.

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