Market sales and Farmgate
The transparency of the 1860’s design has been lost over the years by unimaginative shopfronts on West Row and blank walls onto Market Square. These are being replaced with glazed walls and lobby entrances to draught-proof the sales floor and provide access to the new Public WCs and Enterprise Haven. The retail units fronting West Row are being remodelled as lock-up units with access from the street and sales floor, able to trade independently or be amalgamated to create larger retail units.
A new mezzanine floor is being created across the rear of the sales floor, open to the trading floor with windows onto Market Square. It is designed for multi-use: one half as a Coffeeshop of 60 covers and the other for retail sales of fashions, fabrics, accessories and artisan products. The sales floor wall beneath the new mezzanine comprises glazed folding doors opening into the void of the Temperate Garden. The sales floor adjacent is suitable for gifts, fashions, clothing accessories, art and stationery etc on freestanding displays or RMU’s.
A guest WiFi system is available through all public areas with high speed broadband and secure WiFi.to the haven, shops, and stalls. A new heating and ventilation system on the sales floor reduces summer temperatures by fan-assisted ambient cooling through the clerestory rooflights. Winter temperatures are moderated by overdoor heaters within the draught lobbies and destratification fans directing heated air onto the sales floor.
Farmgate – a new outlet for local growers and producers
Farmgate is the brand identity for the new town centre outlet for local growers and producers. It offers a management-staffed sales outlet for part-time and artisan producers without a commitment to staffing costs and rents. A cookery demonstration and display facility is provided for suppliers and preparation and production facilities at basement level. Sales are through a barcode sales and stock control system with the usual range of EFT facilities for Shoppers. Takings and stock control are remitted directly to the supplier account.
Farmgate’s USP is ‘FFM’ – Fewer Food Miles – a premium quality offer fresh from local producers to differentiate it from Supermarket offers. Farmgate offers a low-cost sales outlet for independent producers and membership organisations e.g. the WI, NFU and FARMA. Promotion is in conjunction with Darlingtons award-winning Food Festival and Festival of Thrift and the customer base is directly targeted with online promotions and a home delivery service. Typical customers are high-value office workers and weekend visitors to the Temperate Garden.
Farmgate trades into early evenings and on Sundays. If you are a local grower or producer or a part-time artisan producers looking to sell through an established outlet then contact the management office for more details.