Scores of sole traders voice interest in joining Peterborough Beales department store

About 80 home-based crafts people have expressed an interest in becoming part of a Peterborough department store’s new Market Place.

The branding for Beales' Market Place.
The branding for Beales' Market Place.

Some 3,000 square feet of retail space in Beales, in Westgate, will be given over to the new venture that will see locally-made products sold in the store.

Bosses expect that about 30 of the sole retailers will become part of the new Market Place venture that will encourage people to ‘shop local partnership brands’.

Chief executive Tony Brown said: “We will start interviewing people next week.

Beales chief executive Tony Brown. EMN-210104-165656009

“Being part of Market Place will be a big commitment and it may not suit all those who have applied.

“Some people are making stuff at home which is good but they will be coming into a proper commercial environment.

“But it will depend on whether those vendors all want to do it and make the commitment.

“It will involve those retailers being in the store and prepared to do seven days a week - it’s not going to be enough to just pop in on odd days.

“They will have to be present to do the selling and they will have to provide the stock.

“I think a third to a half of those who have expressed an interest will be up for it.

“But a similar venture in our Stockport store has been very successful and they all love it.”

It is hoped the Market Place will become operational from October 11.

Vendors who have expressed an interest so far include people making wreaths, candles, jewellery, wrist bands and even wire chickens.

Mr Brown added: “It will be a proper commercial agreement for them but it will be a leg up into a proper retail environment.”