New Watford Market
Watford indoor market was located at the heart of Watford in Charter Place, adjacent to the INTU Shopping centre. Open three days a week, the market housed at its maximum 100 traders selling a range of day to day items. However, with occupancy levels decreasing and wider strategic development plans for the town centre, the council took the decision to move it to a new site (under new management). WMC were a key agent in delivering the relocation and continued operation of the market.
What we did
1) Improvements and alterations
A redundant car park, below the ring road flyover, was chosen as the new site for the market. Throughout the eighteen-month build process WMC held regular consultation sessions with traders to discuss their design, infrastructure and servicing requirements. Improvements to the market include: better trading units; improved visual merchandising; and more distinct zoning. For the first time the market has a private operator working to drive new footfall to the site, grow the day stalls on the Parade and establish steering groups with traders and local stakeholders.
2) External fabric and structure
On the High Street the market now benefits from pillar wraps and backlit signage. On the other side, leading towards the train station and business district, the street furniture has been clearly branded with the market logo to create a visual pathway.
The new site provides a completely fresh look and feel. The signage and external communications strategy were carefully drawn up by WMC to ensure maximum awareness of the new location.
3) Internal Layout
The original layout was that of a traditional market, with aisles of stalls back to back. The new market provides a completely different environment and gives traders and consumers alike a 21st century retail experience. We selected a mixture of 10ft, 20ft and 40ft containers to act as the new retail structures, covered by a new roof and from the road by an eco-friendly ‘green wall’.