Hatfield Market’s first reopening since lockdown ‘very quiet’
PUBLISHED: 12:02 29 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:22 29 June 2020
A Hatfield Market trader has seen footfall fall since reopening for the first time since lockdown.
Mobile pizza van-owner Berdakh Dauletmuratov said his first day back on Saturday was “very quiet” compared to the brisk trade he was doing before coronavirus hit.
But he does not believe the bad weather – as there were intermittent showers at the weekend – is to blame for the decrease in purchases of his wood-fired pizzas, which he makes with fresh ingredients.
Berdakh, who is originally from Uzbekistan and has spent the last five years in Britain, said: “Usually Saturday is very busy during the summer. And, yes, there has been some rain but in the UK this is normal.”
Hoddesson-based fruit seller Darren Kowley who has been running his stall for 10 years, said he has also never seen anything like it.
“Its not been a very good day, our first day back,” Darren said.
The 52-year-old was resistant to return, as he was not sure how safe it would be, but since government payments have decreased he did not have much choice.
“It’s about risk and reward. It was getting to the point where the reward out weighed the risk,” he explained.
However, he said given the screens he has installed at the market and the small number of people out and about, it is a lot safer.
Though this has not been the experience for John ‘the wool man’ Gregory, who relies more on his loyal customers – since he started visiting Hatfield over 40 years ago. John said: “Trade is quite brisk. I’ve been on the go all day. People have been back for the buttons and wool.”
He added that over 75 per cent of his sales come from repeat customers with not many coming from passing traffic.
The North London resident, who turned 60 under lockdown, added: “Hatfield is Hatfield market. I’ve always felt at home here.
“A lot of my family’s good friends moved up here after the war. So my family always came here and I’ve still liked coming here.
“And I’ll be here as long as people need me.”
Hatfield’s general market has resumed on Saturdays and Wednesdays, from 8am to 4pm, with the monthly Farmers’ Market reopening from July 11.
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