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Markets are nice, sure, but what do people really want?

Summary:
A certain amount of crowing here:Backlash against self-service checkouts bring revival for traditional markets, as report shows huge boomIsn’t that great? Humans, as social animals, like to be social? The latest research shows that markets are soaring in popularity all around Britain as people turn their backs on soulless High Street shops and try to connect with their community.How excellent.Market traders across the UK enjoyed a collective turnover of £3.1 billion last year and sales have soared £200 million on average each year since 2012, according to trade body Mission for Markets.That’s around 6% growth in that past year then.New data from the Office for National Statistics shows online sales rose by 15.3 per cent over the past year and now make up a record high of 18.2 per cent of

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A certain amount of crowing here:

Backlash against self-service checkouts bring revival for traditional markets, as report shows huge boom

Isn’t that great? Humans, as social animals, like to be social?

The latest research shows that markets are soaring in popularity all around Britain as people turn their backs on soulless High Street shops and try to connect with their community.

How excellent.

Market traders across the UK enjoyed a collective turnover of £3.1 billion last year and sales have soared £200 million on average each year since 2012, according to trade body Mission for Markets.

That’s around 6% growth in that past year then.

New data from the Office for National Statistics shows online sales rose by 15.3 per cent over the past year and now make up a record high of 18.2 per cent of all retail sales.

Oh, it appears that the even more soulsuckingly impersonal online shopping is preferred to those communal market experiences. That original contention, that we’re all crying out for more human interaction, might not be true then.

Reality being that of course some people do and many people don’t. This being a problem solved only by markets in the wider sense. Allow those retailing to experiment, see who turns up where and let them get on with it. It is only by leaving be and seeing that we can find out what it is that the consumer actually desires. Laissez faire isn’t the answer to every thing but it most certainly is to some.

Of the £50 million invested by market operators in 2017-18, £37 million came from seven local authorities investing in their traditional retail markets

Ah, sorry, we misunderstood. Rather than hoping to inform us of these exciting retail trends Mission for Markets is trying to cook up figures to justify more of our, taxpayer, money being spent on building their business infrastructure. To which the correct answer is, if there’s such a clamour for that market experience then presumably there’s the private capital willing to invest to profit from it? After all, that’s how the competition, the supermarkets and the internet, are paid for, isn’t it?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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