Preparing for a market stall pop up

Preparing for a market stall pop up

I am starting back with a market stall at Spitalfields market this thursday. Whilst its exciting, it is also a lot of work. In this blog post i will lay out some steps that i have taken in preparing for this market stall.

I will be having a stall there once per week every thursday. So i have to have a display that is durable enough to be used week after week. 

Here is my checklist

1. Visit the location
2. Design the set up
3. Who are the customers at that location
4. How to take cash
5. Logistics and storage
6. Following up post purchase

1. Visit the location

I went to the market to ake photos, sit and look at other stall holders and have a look at their displays. I found out about storage, there is a 1m cube storage box available to stall holders (at a cost of £20 per week) The itsm that i store there need to fit into this small size. It is also located several staircase levels under ground, so this needs to be taken into account. 

mock up of market stall spitalfields

2. Designing the set up

Here is a diagram of the market stall frame provided by Spitalfields market. This makes it easy to plan the design of the stall ahead of time.
There are also details that should be considered that are not included in a design sketch like this picture above. For example many market stall holders have brackets and shelves that protrude out of the stall, this means either you can do the same or you need to take into consideration that neighbours may have things sticking out that you might need to block out to make the most of your space. Side and back sheets are good for this purpose.
It is worth taking some photos from different angles of the stall frame that you will have. Even though you might be in a different location if gives you an idea of what to expect and when you are at home designing the elements you can look back on the photos. I also find it useful to see what other brands and stall holders do to display their items. Especially useful if you sell similar types or sizes of products.
How are you going to display the different products? Do you want people to touch them ? if so you need to have them accessible for people to touch. If you are going to have samples for people to take, then you may need a small table. Some markets do not allow you to bring your own furniture, i'm not sure why, maybe an insurance issue but any kinds of additional rules and regulations are worth considering at this stage of the design process.

3. Who are the customers at this market?

Finding out the types of people who are visiting the market should actually be done before even deciding to do the market. If your products are aimed at hippies, then doing a stall in the city where there are only suits walking around is probably not a good match. If, like Spitalfields, there are a high percentage of tourists at the market then you might consider having items that tourists might like to tempt them to purchase something - ie i have some key rings which say 'Spitalfields' on them which would be a great souvenir for someone visiting london as a tourist.

4. How to take payment

You can get a card reader to receive payment from customers. Depending on which provider you are with. You need to sign up to a service such as Stripe, or Sumup. I am with Shopify which has its own payment system. I have purchased a card reader and use blue tooth to connect the card reader with my smart phone. It allows customers to use wireless (with the phone) or to put the card into the slot and enter in their pin number.
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