Video: Market traders frozen out by online shopping this Christmas

Report by Luke Williamson, Video by Cara Nott, Assiah Hamed and Holly Kirkpatrick. 

Leicester Market stallholders have been left in the cold this Christmas as more shoppers choose to purchase goods online instead.

Traders have claimed that, as the years have passed, the number of buyers and vendors has decreased as the popularity in online shopping has increased.

The value of e-commerce in the UK would reach €200 billion by the end of 2019, which would be an increase of 14.6 per cent, according to an Ecommerce Foundation report.

Market trader Derrick Lipurd, who runs a clothes stall, said: “Ever since internet shopping came about, it gets worse year on year.

“It’s ruined the place.

“It’s not been busy [at the market] for a couple of months now, there’s just no footfall.”

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Leicester Market has “not been busy for a couple of months” according to traders.

Empty stalls make up more than a quarter of the marketplace, and people like Derrick can see this after being prominent figures in the market for decades.

Derrick said: “You look around today, it should be really busy but it’s just not.”

Shops around the marketplace have also been left empty, including in the impressive Highcross Shopping Centre.

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More empty stalls are cropping up throughout the Leicester Market

Fruit and veg vendor Jason Lepreux, who has been working on the market for 28 years, said: “[Online shopping] has affected all retail, you only have to look around here to see that the shops are now empty as well.

“There has been decline here on the market since I started working here.”

“Some traders used to struggle to get a stall back in the day, but now you basically get a free choice of where you want to go.”

With just over three weeks until Christmas Day, business in the city’s market is expected to pick up, but the story of the marketplace is one to keep an eye on as we head into the new year.

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