Footfall at Sheffield’s Castle Market has plunged by 23 per cent since August, according to figures from the council.
The statistics were released as the opening of the new multi-million pound Moor Market looks set to be delayed by a week.
Traders said they are ‘struggling to survive’ at the current market, because of closing stalls and dwindling customers, and held a meeting to discuss problems on Wednesday night.
Sheffield Council said the drop in footfall had ‘coincided with several key traders closing’.
Fruit and veg trader Mick Cull, chairman of the Castle Market branch of the National Market Traders Federation, said the drop in footfall was ‘alarming’, adding: “That’s going down from 60,000 a week to just more than 45,000.
“That’s like Manchester United’s gates going from 75,000 to 57,000 – there would be panic.”