Market Village ‘dying’

Vendors at the Market Village in Fairchild Street, Bridgetown, shared concerns that the venue is starved of life, and have appealed for an increase in events and activities to draw customers.

Some of the merchants there said while they are satisfied with the facilities, there is more to be done to attract additional customers to the area.

One of these was Camille, who sells food and beverages from a kiosk at the Market Village. The vendor was among the first to set up her stall after the opening of the village in 2021.

“When it opened it was really good but now it’s a bit quiet. You’re not making money now like when it opened. When it opened it was like the new thing on the block. But now it has just gone back to dead and quiet, nothing happening really.

“Some days you don’t make anything at all. It mostly depends on the weekends and the little music. People need to know about it more, especially tourists and locals. As you can see out here is more of a Caribbean national kind of thing,” she said.

Camille added that the biggest crowd was the February session of Q in the Community back in 2023.

Another vendor, Diana similarly shared that business had been up and down and sales were impossible on certain days. With the added effect of the high cost of living, it has become much more difficult to turn a profit, she added.

“Things are too high. One time you would get four beers for $12, now beers are $4 and people don’t come out. It’s mostly on Friday when you get good sales because music is kicking,” she said.

In addition to the sales concerns, the vendors also spoke about the lack of proper drainage in the area. As Camille explained, the flat surface of the Market Village and lack of drainage caused the area to flood during rainfall, leaving them to walk in ankle-high water each time.

Previously the vendors said they also had to contend with the foul odour of waste water caused by a blocked grease trap in the area. Earlier this year, the problem reached its peak when vendor Shellon Kishna complained of waste water that flooded her stall.

While Kishna had not yet opened for business when the Nation team visited the kiosk, fellow vendor Yvonne Crichlow confirmed that the issue was resolved.

Crichlow, another seller of food and drinks at the kiosks, complained she also had to endure the foul scent at that time. She praised the Market Village committee for the quick response to the issue, stating they always issued prompt responses whenever a concern was raised.

This vendor was less concerned about the sales.

“It’s been better than before, the sales and everything are better. It’s good for me over here, I don’t have a problem. My foot traffic is good, the only thing I experience is that when the rain falls everything floods,” she said.

Similar fortunes favoured vendor Glenesta who said her sales were booming since the move to the kiosks. The seller of fruits and vegetables previously sold under the bus terminal. She said: “It’s the same, because wherever a customer finds me, I serve them where they are.

“Right now I’m satisfied with everything they gave us. I’m not complaining. Everything good now,” she said.

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