While the street market along Terminus Road has proved popular with shoppers, local traders have claimed the stalls are having a negative effect on nearby shops.
The Town Centre Management Team recently announced the street market would open every Sunday as well as every Wednesday, causing more concern among shop owners who believe their trade is suffering as a result of the market.
One of the handful of independent traders on Terminus Road who came forward to complain about the market, said, “The market was supposed to be put in place to stop local people going to Rye market but that’s on a Thursday, not a Wednesday, so people still go to both.
“Since the market’s been going, I’ve noticed footfall have been well down in our shops. The stalls are taking the money left, right and centre while only paying minimum rent. We’re here all year long, in snow, rain, wind and hail, and we have four months over the summer to make our money. They turn up in these four months and clear up.
“They get free advertising and they don’t have to pay for someone to come and collect their rubbish. They don’t employ local people and they don’t pay tax or VAT.
“There were 68 markets last year and last week alone, you had the street market on Wednesday and Sunday and the continental market on the seafront Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They’re selling the same products as some of the shops – clothes, jumpers, fresh fruit – and it’s killing us.”
While it may not be reflected inside the nearby shops, data gathered by the Town Centre Management Team proves there is a rise in visitors to Terminus Road on market days, with an increase of more than 1,000 people in the area.
The market was given the green light in May 2012 and set up for the first time later that year, in August.
The Chamber of Commerce was contacted for a comment but at the time of going to press, had not yet replied.