For hundreds of years it was a wholesale food market with traders shouting out their wares and engaging customers in the argy-bargy of sales banter. Today it’s a hive of hipster stores, pop-up restaurants and bars. But there’s some connection missing. There’s a crowd of people but they are not really interacting. At least that was a feeling that Millie (pictured) had.
So, on her Street Wisdom walk, she decided to set up her own stall – offering free conversations. And her first customers were three (“slightly scary-looking”) older men. Turns out they weren’t East End hoods. They all used to work in the market, were visiting their old workplace and wanted to talk about it.
It was something that all our business participants noticed in their different ways. How we can be in a crowd and yet feel very separate from those around us. Shopping used to be an excuse to connect. And now it’s a substitute. Maybe we need more ‘marketing’ like Millie’s. Turn shopping back into conversations.
by David Pearl.
Photo by Ines Alonso.