Norwich Market traders remain optimistic amid second lockdown - with 30 stalls still open

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November.
CJs fruit and veg stall have found things ste

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November. CJs fruit and veg stall have found things steady, not as busy during the day but deliveries have been going well. Eve Parsons, Ryan Wiley, Callum Wiley. Credit: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Traders at Norwich Market - where nearly 30 stalls remain open during lockdown - have said they feel brighter about the future.

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November.
Credit: Sonya Duncan

Norwich Market during the second lockdown in November. Credit: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Spirits were higher among stall owners at the city centre market after saying they felt more optimistic ahead of Christmas despite the tighter restrictions.

For Ana Bridgman, owner of Chilean street food stall Cocina Mia, the key has been adapting business after the first lockdown.

Ana Bridgman, owner of the Cocina Mia stall, said she had adapted business since the first lockdown.

Ana Bridgman, owner of the Cocina Mia stall, said she had adapted business since the first lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

She said: “I’m feeling much more optimistic this time around and made a few changes. For example, I’ve made a website and am processing orders through there which is keeping me ticking over.”

When the second lockdown came into force, Ms Bridgman had a few days off and said her first day back, on Thursday, was as “busy as it has been” these past few months.

The Kara family, who run Delight, a Turkish food stall, on Norwich Market. Picture: Ruth Lawes

The Kara family, who run Delight, a Turkish food stall, on Norwich Market. Picture: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant


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She said: “It seems to be going pretty well so far although not back to pre-Covid levels.

“If this lockdown goes on longer for a month, that is when I would start to worry. In January, nothing much happens so we rely on December and Christmas trade to cover it. Lots of places would struggle if we weren’t able to open or there were tighter restrictions next month.”

Shoppers on Gentleman's Walk and Norwich Market in July. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Shoppers on Gentleman's Walk and Norwich Market in July. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

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Ben Irving, trader at Pickering’s, a butcher shop, said footfall had improved compared to the first lockdown, although was still 50pc down for the same period last year.

He said: “It was busy the week before lockdown. It has been quieter this first week of lockdown but online sales are doing well.

Shoppers around Norwich Market shopping local and staying safe in masks.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Shoppers around Norwich Market shopping local and staying safe in masks. Picture by: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

“What we’ve found this time around is that Saturday is a quieter day and then it’s busier during the week. More people seem to come then to shop.”

Mr Ivring said they did not have concerns over the survival of the business.

Traders at Norwich Market said they feel more optimistic about the future. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Traders at Norwich Market said they feel more optimistic about the future. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

He added: “I think we’re alright. If there was a longer lockdown or another one we would just stay open and pick up extra from the online store.”

Sev Kara, who was helping out on her father’s Tukish food stall, Delight, described the current situation as “a purgatory stage.”

She said: “This lockdown has definitely had an impact on business. It is a true unknown. People seem wary about coming out, although we are still getting trade from non-regular customers and construction workers.”

Ms Kara said the greater concerns, however, were new businesses.

“They’re the ones that will really suffer” she said.

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