The Moor Market traders in Sheffield campaign to remain fully open in lockdown
Traders at The Moor Market in Sheffield are campaigning to remain fully open during lockdown in a push for ‘parity with supermarkets’.
Bosses say the venue should be treated like a Tesco or Morrisons because it is just as safe and clean. But it has the advantage of supporting 70 local independents, some of which face ruin.
A second national lockdown starts on Thursday when all shops and stalls selling ‘non-essential’ goods must close their doors.
Those selling essential items including vegetables, meat and ingredients, are allowed to stay open.
Traders say supermarkets have whole aisles selling non-essential goods and they want stalls selling similar items thought of the same way. It is hoped the government will clarify the issue in their favour on Wednesday.
Dave Healy, founder of new The Moor Market online shopping service ChefChef.Store, said the situation needed to be resolved - and quickly.
He added: “The Moor Market can control the virus just as well as Tesco. It’s better for the local economy and safer. By allowing the full market to remain open, shoppers only need to make one trip. It’s safer if you can get everything in one place.
“Traders just want to be treated the same. We’re not saying Tesco should close aisles selling non-essential items. But we are tired of the supermarkets winning every fight because they are big and powerful."
If non-essential stalls are shuttered, traders will seek permission from Sheffield City Council to continue to offer online sales, deliveries and ‘click and collect’, just like a supermarket, he added.
“There are no tech barriers to shopping in the market online. Some traders have their own online shops, there is ChefChef.Store’s consolidated service covering 21 traders and the City Grab app too.
"This is a matter of life and death for some.”
The National Association of British Market Authorities and the National Market Traders’ Federation have started a ‘parity with supermarkets’ petition.
It states: ‘Markets across the UK have been at the heart of our towns, cities and communities for centuries and have a proven track record in supplying local people with food and goods.
‘As England enters another period of lockdown, we demand that the Government give markets parity with supermarkets in terms of the supply of essential and non-essential goods during this period. Markets should be allowed to remain fully open.
The Star has approached Sheffield City Council for comment.