Market change causes angst
CHANGES to one of the region’s favourite Sunday markets have come under fire from some not happy with the revamp.
The fresh look to the Caloundra Street Fair was introduced on Sunday, with market stalls turned to face the retail shops on Bulcock Street.
Caloundra Chamber of Commerce president Michael Shadforth said the change had resulted in a boost for retailers, with large crowds on the footpath between the retailers and first row of stalls. But backlash has been swift from a number of visitors who took to social media to criticise the new format, leaving a string of one-star reviews.
“Sad to see the new way it is set out,” Kym Byrne posted on the Caloundra Street Fair Facebook page.
“If we wanted to go into the shop we can do that any day.”
“The new layout is disgusting,” Megan Robinson wrote.
“I have been coming nearly every week for years and if it’s a permanent thing I won’t be returning.
“I push a pram and cant get into the stalls.”
Mr Shadforth said pram and wheelchair access was one issue they needed to address quickly, but he believed the new format was a “much better solution for the future”.
“It was a really good vibe for the customer,” he said.
He said he hadn’t seen any of the stallholder figures for the weekend, but had been impressed with the amount of people moving in and out of the shops and stalls.
Two stallholders spoke to the Daily but wished to remain anonymous, fearing backlash for speaking out.
They questioned why the move away from stalls facing each other on either side of the street had been made after 15 years.
One expected a number of stallholders to leave as a result of the changes.
“No thought’s gone into it,” he said.
He said he was 55 per cent down on regular trade
last weekend. The other stallholder questioned why the changes had been made so close to Christmas.
Mr Shadforth said the goal was to have both retail traders and stallholders
thriving, and felt it was too soon to make a judgment on the success of the changes.
“Our goal is to make it (Bulcock Street) even more vibrant,” he said.