"We’re more than a market, we’re a community hub” – Moor Market wins Sheffield Retail Award
“The Moor Market is a community hub,” says Julia Hart.
“We’re not just a place for people to come and buy a few apples and a pound of mince, we’re more than that, and always have been.
“This year, the pandemic has shown how vital our traders are, and it’s been incredible to see them adapt and evolve in order to keep supporting the people of this city.”
This week, The Moor Market was named the winner of the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ category at this year’s Sheffield City Centre Retail Awards.
The 2020 awards received a record number of entries and nominations, with people across the city keen to celebrate shops big and small, and the people who have kept running efficiently this year against all the odds.
“We’re so proud to have won, and our traders are over the moon,” reveals Julia, deputy markets manager.
“It’s been a terrible year, and we’ve seen trade and footfall drop drastically, but through it all, our traders have kept going and adapting.
“Some of them had never had a card machine before all this, and suddenly they were getting card machines, and taking payments over the phone, and running a delivery service.
“And they all came together to support the people of the city; we’d have the fruit and veg trader popping over to the butchers to pick up a chicken to add into the order of the old lady they were delivering to - there was such a good feeling of community spirit.”
Julia confirms it has been difficult since the market reopened in June, but that the market team worked hard to ensure that customers and traders alike were safe and protected.
“We limited capacity to 322 - which feels empty in here - and implemented a one-way system,” she says.
“Traders installed plexi-screens and hand sanitiser, and we dropped some stalls to allow us to widen aisles.
“Our toilets have attendants to keep an eye on numbers, and everything is being cleaned thoroughly and regularly.
“This is a safe place to work, and a safe place to shop.”
The market team also made the most of its social media during this time, using it to keep in touch with customers, and help field queries from people searching for everything from home deliveries, to a place to buy toilet roll.
And as 2020 draws to a close, Julia says the team at the market is looking forward to a bright 2021, with lots of plans in place, ready to jump on as soon as it is safe.
“We want to revamp the cafe area, with some sofas and laptop ports, so people can work or have meetings here,” she says.
“And we can’t wait to reintroduce things like record fairs and vintage fairs, and our late nights with live entertainment.
“We feel such a responsibility to our community and customers,” she adds.
“So many of the people who come to shop here also come to socialise, to have conversations with traders who remember their names, and know what their ‘usual’ is.
“For some elderly people, it might be the only conversation they have that day, and our traders know that - they make every conversation count.”