English Market, Cork

The English Market in Cork is one of the few indoor Market Halls in Ireland and is a cultural gem.

Cork’s unique visitor attraction

The Market occupies a site behind four principal shopping streets in historic Cork and despite a disastrous fire in the 1980’s has developed into an eclectic mix of food, fashion, arts and crafts. The architecture is a mixture dating from the 1860’s to the 1980’s but the overall effect is wonderful. It has secured a reputation for offering probably the finest seafood in Europe and attracts many visitors to its balcony-level restaurants.

Irish government support for independent business

Irish government policy was historically supportive of independent businesses, including a ban on supermarket cross-subsidy and loss leader tactics by the so-called ‘Groceries Order’ of 1987. This changed in 2006 when the order was repealed, some say in response to pressure from supermarkets and some because consumers were losing out to lack of competition. The Cork Market Traders Association now faced the same challenges as their UK counterparts and were keen to learn from their experience.

Adding value at the point of sale

Quarterbridge was invited to lecture on the challenges facing UK independents and suggest strategies to counter them. Our presentation covered topics such as how to secure overdue modernisation, adding value at the point of sale and promoting a business through online marketing and social media. Investment in the ‘three P’s’ – Premises, Product and Promotion – applies to all independent retailers regardless of where they trade.

The English Market has secured a reputation for offering probably the finest seafood in Europe

The English Market, Cork. Ireland's cultural gem