In 2015, PAPRIKA opened a Coffee Shop and Business Hub in #Stockport Market Place, as part of 20th Century Stores.
20th Century Stores was a Portas Pilot-funded vintage retail centre whose businesses were all market traders. The centre was the last of the initiatives included in the original Portas bid to be realised. Initially Esther had hoped that it would be able to use the successful Bruntwood Properties model of Affleck’s Palace in Manchester, where you could rent spaces from 1sq m and upwards, on a week by week basis. Unfortunately, the MIS used to manage market rents could not be adjusted to allow this to happen, so each trader was forced to rent spaces nominally considered to be 3 sq m (the size of a standard market marquee).
Setting up and managing 7 Park Street allowed Esther to trial some of the improvement initiatives that she had proposed whilst working for the local authority - extended opening hours, providing free wi-fi to the building, diversifying the market food offer, popup restaurants, hosting meetings, popup food trader spots and providing a co-working place.
The project ran for seven months, after which the analysis from fellow market traders was that Esther had "made it work, but couldn't make it pay". Essentially this was because of the absence of footfall on the street and the fact that there were no office workers close, by that would provide the necessary, regular Monday to Friday custom that could offset the lack of market-related footfall.
Being a licensed market trader gave Esther an insight into the 'hidden' factors that can affect market management performance. These unseen factors are the ones often overlooked by local authorities seeking to emulate successes seen elsewhere, but without collating the necessary data to determine whether that success could be emulated at other locations.
200b Hayfield Rd
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