TRADERS in a historic Victorian market have signed up for a new service to help their customers in the lead up to Christmas.

Darlington Indoor Market launched its brand new service on Saturday to safe customers from carrying heavy bags while they continue shopping.

The scheme offers people the opportunity of coming to buy their fresh meat, groceries and produce from the independent market traders, before leaving their shopping and come back later with their car to collect from the designated parking bay in Tubwell Row.

Nick Fenwick, who runs one of the market’s butchers stalls, believes the new initiative will benefit customers.

He said: “The launch of this project, in time for Christmas, means people ordering and collecting their Turkeys and meat hampers for the seasonal celebrations can pre-order their food can just park right outside the building when coming to collect their shopping.”

The free service provides shoppers with a much easier shopping experience. On arrival at the collection bay shoppers will be able to ring their traders directly from the business card given, who will then personally bring their shopping to the car.


Some of the traders who have signed up for the scheme

Traders in the Victorian Market Hall have all welcomed this new initiative and are all taking part in this new offer.

Robin Blair, a market trader who has spent his whole life working in the town, hopes that customers will take advantage of the special offer in the run-up to Christmas.

The grocer said: “This new collection service is great news. We often have shoppers struggling to carry their bags, this will allow people to leave their bags, visit the town centre then return to collect their shopping by car.

“We are looking forward to providing this offer to our customers and visitors to Darlington.”

Customers can come and hand-select their produce or telephone orders from these local businesses.

Organisers are hoping that if the initiative is popular the collection service will be developed further with more town centre retailers providing a similar service.

Jonathan Owen Director of Market Asset Management explains, ‘Making shopping easier for customers with this new offer is essential to support our local, independent traders. This service will continue to develop with the introduction of collection lockers in the future and more online buying options.’

The Shop and Drop Service will be available 8am - 5pm Monday to Saturday.