London is hardly short of places to shop this christmas. From the iconic Sotheby’s and Tiffany & Co of Bond Street to the retro boutiques of the East End, the capital thrives on consumerism. Everyone, from high class Gloucester Road escorts to yummy mummies, loves to splash the cash and indulge themselves in a little retail therapy. In such an environment, it’s hardly surprising that to see people searching for new ways to innovate the shopping experience. For a while, it was all about the pop up shops: unique little boutiques that would open one day and be gone the next. They worked by generating a lot of excitement and focussing a lot of customers through them in a short period of time, allowing for amazing margins and a lot less hassle over long term renting. They have been hailed as some of the best ways to rejuvenate the economy, encourage more people into business and to bring variety back to the high street. What many people don’t realise however, is that they actually share a lot of common features with one of the oldest forms of shopping: the marketplace.
The marketplace, with its limited stock, short opening times and tendency to shut down or move around during the week, invented the concept of focussed retail. One of their greatest assets is their ability to consistently draw large crowds of people whenever they are open, which they achieve by the nature of their impermanence. If the market is open between 6 and 1 on a Wednesday, people will be there and the traders can visit other towns and other markets with the rest of their week. If the supermarket is open 24/7, then people will trickle in slowly but the store has to stay open for all those hours to catch the drips and drabs of people that are coming in.
It doesn’t just make sense from a business perspective either, it’s a fantastic experience for the consumer too. Markets are far more intimate than the average shop. Many markets stalls are small and family run, which lends them a certain quaint appeal normally reserved for the rural parts of Kent. There’s few things more relaxing than walking arm in arm with gorgeous Gloucester Road escorts through a little Christmas market and picking out handmade christmas decorations and presents. Sticky, fresh jam in glass jars, freshly roasted chestnuts glazed with honey and cinnamon, rich sausage meat encased in flakey, golden pastry. It’s total and utter bliss!
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