By MICK WHITWORTH
Upmarket London food store chain Partridges is exploring possible sites in London for a new indoor food market, with Madrid’s Mercado de St Miguel (pictured right) providing a possible model.
Partridges already runs a successful street market outside its flagship Duke of York Square store, just off the King's Road, which draws around 70 speciality food and drink producers every Saturday.
Managing director John Shepherd told FFD he was looking for a venue for a traditional-style indoor market, where pitches would taken by producers and a limited number of hot food takeaways.
He ruled out following the sophisticated ‘urban farm shop’ concept tried by several retailers including Union Market in Fulham, which closed earlier this year. “It’s a format that attracts lots of [businesses] but we haven’t really got an example of it working well,” said Shepherd.
“They fall between two stools: they haven’t the full range of a supermarket, so people can’t buy everything they need there, and they haven’t got the variety that you get in a market, where competition between stallholders keeps the prices down.”
Shepherd said he planned to look for inspiration at the Mercado de St Miguel in Madrid – a traditional indoor market that was reborn as a chic shopping and eating venue in 2009 after a two-year facelift. “They have market stalls selling top-quality food,” he said, “so it’s something I want to check out because it could work here.”
• Read a full interview with John Shepherd in FFD’s May 2012 edition, just published.