Mar­ket change causes angst

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - SCOTT SAWYER scott.sawyer@sc­

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.

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