Freo's View

FREO MARKETS GREAT SMALL BUSINESS INCUBATORS

Posted in fremantle, markets, reatil by freoview on February 12, 2015

Retail expert and former shopping centre manager Colin Nichol has written an article in support of pop-up retail shops on the Fremantle Tribe blog- http://fremantlesociety.org.au/blog. Colin writes that pop-ups are there to stay as the new face of retail and that they are Freo’s future. He rightly argues that they are a low-risk way to try the viability of a new small business.

While trendy placemakers will want us to believe that pop-ups are a new modern and creative way to do business, pop-ups have been around for centuries in the form of markets. Markets are very much pop-up businesses where people do not have the money to sign expensive leases in shopping areas, or where they only want to open shop on certain days of the week. Markets all over the world have been incubators for small businesses forever and it has given many people the confidence to move on and open more permanent shops.

In third world countries pop-up shops happen daily with someone selling ten pieces of firewood on the street while someone else has nicely arranged nine tomatoes or potatoes for sale at a roundabout.

In the western world markets have become more and more popular, as we see in Fremantle where we now have a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday market, plus the almost daily Kings Square market and the weekend Fremantle and E Shed markets.

Our Freo markets mainly have a community focus, a place for people to relax while browsing for food and other things. They offer opportunities for local musicians to be heard and seen, and they attract people to often under-utilised areas of the city and create new vitality in those places, as we witness at the Growers Green and Princess May Markets and Bathers Beach.

There are people who argue that markets and pop-ups are unfair competition to those retailers who pay high rents to have a shop, but I believe it is a choice people want to have. Many people dislike shopping in sterile shopping centres and supermarkets. They want the relaxed open-air community experience where they can catch up with friends while buying their healthy-often organic-groceries and other things.

People love markets because it is their lifestyle and they feel at home there. There is a true sense of belonging in community markets around Fremantle, and what a great way to support local small businesses from the area.

Roel Loopers

2 Responses

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  1. freoview said, on February 13, 2015 at 10:45 am

    That is a very good example of pop-ups and markets as incubators for new small businesses and of course the quality and creativity of your photos and the professionalism and appearance of your gallery at the Roundhouse are the reason for your success.

    Roel

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  2. Glen said, on February 13, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Hi Roel
    One of the key things I did after my first exhibition was be a part of the Village Art Market in King’s Square. I did that for quite a few years. After it stopped running I then had a small stint at the Freo Markets before opening up my Gallery next to the Roundhouse. No over 5 years later we are still going.

    Now we get people coming from all over Australia and all over the World, that have been told to visit the gallery, we are #4 of things to do in Freo on Trip Advisor and get many locals around the Perth metro area that repeatedly bring their visiting family and friends to the gallery.

    But without testing the waters with markets, it could have all been different.

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