SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 MAY 26 - JUNE 8, 2017 Marketing the market

Traders at Oxford’s Covered Market are planning an energetic marketing campaign over the next six months in a bid to take advantage of the expected influx of new shoppers attracted by the city’s revamped Westgate Centre. The new £440m centre in

central Oxford is due to open in October and it is estimated that the number of shopping trips every year could increase from five million to 15 million. Westgate Oxford is described on its website as “the ultimate retail and lifestyle destination - with 800 000 sq. ft. of prestigious global brands, inventive and eclectic restaurants and cafes, a five screen boutique cinema and sophisticated rooftop bars and dining,” The centre’s development manager Sara Fuge said recently that “a rising tide would lift all boats”, meaning the city’s independent traders would also benefit from shoppers attracted by Westgate. With that idea in mind,

Secretary of the Covered Market Traders’ Association (CMTA), Sandie Griffith, is rallying stallholders at the market to make the most of the opportunity. Speaking to local media she

said: “John Lewis and the new Westgate Centre will have a massive pull factor and draw lots of extra shoppers. “Footfall has been down

over the past year as people wait for the new Westgate to open. “We have to capitalise on

this new opportunity and try to ensure that some of the shoppers who go to the Westgate also come our way. “During the next few months

we need to ensure that we are proactive and put ourselves on the map. “One idea is to advertise

the Covered Market inside the new Westgate Centre itself so that shoppers there can see that we are a destination.” Mrs Griffith, who runs Jemini

Flowers, said the CMTA needed to ‘gear up’ for the reopening of the Westgate Centre, adding that they would be asking the council to provide more signs in the city directing people to the Covered Market. She said: “At the moment

the buses in High Street drop people off near one of the entrances, but that could change. “I would like to see some modern advertising boards in the Westgate Centre which promote the Covered Market.” Ms Fuge said recently that

she wanted shoppers to “stay in Oxford once they come in”, and to visit other retailers such as the smaller independents and the Covered Market. Grooming specialists Burrows and Hare has a shop in the Covered Market and is due to open a new outlet in the Westgate Centre. Manager Junaid Ansari

told local media: “I think it’s a good idea to advertise in the Westgate Centre and signpost shoppers to the Covered Market, so that traders benefit from the increased footfall.” Dating back to the 1770s,

Icing on the cake for Market Harborough stallholder

Page 10 Oxford Covered Market (Photo: biopillozzo)

the Covered Market is owned by Oxford City Council and has more than 40 traders selling food, gifts, shoes, fashion, flowers and jewellery. Mrs Griffith said rent negotiations with the city council were under way, and negotiations regarding traders’ leases were also taking place. She added: “There could

be a big changeover in the Covered Market if some traders decide not to renew their leases.” Graham Jones, from traders’ group BOX (Backing Oxford Business), said: “With the reopening of the Westgate Centre there is going to be a shake-up in the city centre and

traders in the historic areas like Broad Street, the High Street and the Covered Market will have to do everything they can to attract that extra footfall.”

Royal visit

A recent boost for the Covered Market was a visit on May 16 from Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who browsed the stalls and were seen admiring the cakes in The Cake Shop and chatting to the staff. Speaking to local media,

staff member Lucy described the experience as “pretty amazing.” “They were asking what we were doing, how long we’d

HMRC launches new Fraud Hotline

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a new hotline for the public to report fraud and evasion in the fight against tax fraud. This service will replace

the two separate tax evasion and customs hotlines with one, streamlining HMRC’s

ISSN 2057–6781

intelligence gathering on tax fraud. Customers can report all

kinds of tax fraud and evasion on the new hotline, including PAYE and National Insurance fraud, undisclosed offshore investments, non-payment of the National Minimum Wage, tax credit fraud, failure to pay UK duty, tax evasion and VAT fraud. Jennie Granger, HMRC’s

Di r e c tor Gene r a l for Customer Compliance, said:

“Information provided by the public is a crucial element of HMRC’s work to close the tax gap, so it’s vital that the reporting process is as simple and accessible as possible. “The HMRC Fraud Hotline

will form an important part of our intelligence gathering operations to bring in more money for the Exchequer and the country. “We encourage the public to continue to work with us and report any suspected fraud or

evasion to us for investigation.” The HMRC Fraud Hotline

– on 0800 788 887 – is open between 8am-8pm seven days a week, 365 days a year. Those who suspect that

fraud is taking place can also report online using HMRC’s digital form available on GOV. UK. In the last financial year

HMRC received over 113,000 reports from members of the public providing information to the department.

Opening Times: The Market Hall

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. Stall opening times vary. Wilko

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm. Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. T.K. Maxx

Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm. (Times subject to change).

been working here. It really goes by in a blur. Surreal is definitely the word.” The couple then moved

on to have lunch in Brown’s Café, and in the afternoon Prince Charles opened the new building of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.

What some of our markets have been up to for LYLM

No. 4901

INSIDE... Page 3


Controversy over Harlow market move

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Enjoy a wonderful shopping experience in its beautiful Victorian Covered Market, Arcade Shops and T.K. Maxx & Wilko Stores.


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