Monday, 15 March 2010

Livingston Farmers Market

Well we gave Livingston FM one last go yesterday. It's been a poor market for us from the start. You would think that a market outside a huge shopping centre with thousands of people going through would be a sure fire hit.....but you would be wrong.
The market is in a wee square at the Debenhams entrance to the centre. Tucked away so no one passing on the road can see it and no one in the shopping centre can see it. Only the people coming out of car park 1 walk past us. These is a market banner at a road crossing but it's no where near the actual market. And it seems that the market organisers cannot advertise inside the centre.
Seemingly the organisers did do some advertising last week, but not one of the customers who did come to our stall had seen it.
So there we were yesterday: veg & soup, cheese, pies, home baking, assorted meats, crisp hut and me, Jude's Jewels. 6 stalls and a trailer. One customer even asked 'is this the farmers market?' What do you say.


  1. So what is the matter? Over the years we have seen so many markets outside shopping centres fail. Why? For me it is mindset. Did they come to do food shopping, probably no. Do they want to carry meat or veg around if it is mainly window shopping/pleasure shopping? Methinks we need to create the mindset; somewhere to go when you are doing all the fresh, locally home grown, nourishing shop that you can't get in Tesco. For the mind too. For the senses and for learning and engaging with the food producers. Now that sounds like a farmers market. Where and when would you do that? Maybe before the Tesco shop so you can spend what you can at the FM and let Tesco sell you the boring washing powder. So that means Thursday- Sat in your local neighbourhood.....

  2. As a rule, in my experience, Sunday markets are not as well attended as Saturday ones, but there a few very good exceptions, Fencebay being one. People do tend to be pleasure shopping rather than food shopping at these centres on a Sunday. And I think you have a very good point about carrying food around shopping centres, most people will not do it.
    However, the main problem with Livingston is that hardly anyone knows that we are there!!
    And the downward spiral has now started. Poor sales, producers pull out, fewer stalls, less for customers to look at and buy, fewer customers bother to come, more producers pull out, fewer stalls, less customers.....and so on.
    It's also not the local market you describe, so it's very difficult to build a regular customer base, as people tend to go there for other shopping and not to visit the market at all.
    I don't know what the answer is really.

  3. This market was advertised as being in the Civic Centre Square which is absolutely nowhere near Debenhams. I love farmers markets, I am local to the area and was totally disappointed that I could not find it.

  4. I live in Livingston and travel 20 miles to a farmers market because I did not know that there was one in Livingston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!