A new manager has been appointed to run Liverpool’s recently re-opened St Johns Market.
Colin McCrory, 55, has spent the past 25 years running shopping centres across the UK before taking up his new role at one of Britain’s oldest indoor markets.
The former Merchant Navy Seaman’s most recent role was at Stretford Mall in Manchester where he helped increase trade by 35% in his five year tenure.
Colin, a father of three, who lives in the Wirral, said he was hoping his experience would make an impact at St Johns, which was re-opened by Sir Ken Dodd in November after a £2.5m revamp.
His arrival coincides with Liverpool City Council, which runs the market, announcing the Hair and Beauty section of the market is now 100% let and three new food operators are to open in the next two weeks making the food court 80% let.
Colin, whose won environmental awards and has expertise in marketing and promotions, added: “Market halls are regaining their popularity with shoppers and I want to ensure Liverpool has an indoor market the people can be proud of and want to use daily for all their shopping needs.
“The main challenges are to attract new traders to the market to compliment the current traders and to increase footfall by attracting the old and new customers.
“It’s an exciting time because there are opportunities galore be it working with start-up businesses, community groups and schools and colleges to promote their work, all of which will help put St Johns Market back on the map.’’
Colin has been in the interim role for a week but said he is already getting a feel for the unique character of St Johns.
He added: ”There are so many characters in the market hall it has been a joy getting to know them all, I am greeted every morning by our resident singing butcher who only appears to know the first two lines of any song, but who brightens up your day! Market traders are special shop keepers as they really do know their products inside out and really want to please their customers to ensure they return time and time again so I am really enjoying the experience.”
Malcolm Kennedy, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Markets, said: “Colin’s experience is going to be invaluable for St John’s Market. I’m delighted we have someone with such a sold all-round track record who immediately understands the challenges and the opportunities to showcase St Johns Market and reassert its place in the hearts of Liverpool’s shoppers.
“We have a lot of work to do but Colin, his council colleagues and the traders know the market has huge potential and we are committed to fulfilling it.”
Colin Laphan, Chairman of the St John Market Traders Association, said: “We warmly welcome this appointment of Colin as our new manager. It is a positive move and we’ve already developed a good relationship with Colin. He is a welcome breath of fresh air, with some really strong ideas on how to take the market forward. We look forward to working with him.”
Liverpool City Council, which took over the control of all market operations in late September by buying out Geraud UK for £1, is actively seeking new traders for St Johns Market, especially:
• Food commodities including cheese and dairy produce.
• Toys and fancy dress
• Electrical goods
Application forms are available at the Information Desk at St Johns.