Trading since 1743 in the old city, St Nicholas Market, also known locally as St Nicks, is the oldest market in Bristol and was named one of the top 12 markets in the UK in 2021.
The vibrant market houses the largest collection of independent retailers in the city, with over 60 stalls spread across The Glass Arcade, Covered Market and the Exchange.
St Nicks is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 5pm, and also hosts the Bristol Farmers’ and Producers’ Market, Street Food Market and Bristol Indies' Market.
We visited St Nicks on a sunny Tuesday and chatted with some of the traders to see how the summer has treated them and what impact the living crisis has had on their trade. Here's what we found:
1. Payback Records
Paul Crane from Payback Records shared how his business had had a good start at the beginning of the year but slowed down around March, just before Easter, which is usually a busy period. But he was grateful that quite a few tourists had visited in the last few months, which meant it had evened out. Paul added that he is concerned about “what's going to happen in the autumn now that the tourists have gone home.”
At gift shop Japonicat, Jane said the summer had been fantastic, with the shop expanding at the beginning of July. She said: “If we hadn’t had the cost of living crisis, then we we would have done doubly fantastic!”
3. La Lola Street Food
La Lola, which has been running for two years, was very happy during the summer season as they had lots of customers, including tourists, especially during July and August. Miguel said: “Food prices and supplier prices are getting crazy. We try to work hard to manage that increase. But, yeah, with lots of work and lots of managing, we will make it a success.”
4. The Olive Works
The cost of living crisis has had a huge impact on all businesses everywhere due to costs. As a business, The Olive Works has tried to lessen the impact by keeping costs as slow as possible. Manager Ben said: “Summer is always our busiest time anyway because we mainly serve salads, so summer is salad weather and that’s good for us.”