It’s been two years since we started to be actively present in and around Rákóczi Market Hall. With the beginning of the new year we were curious how the market and its workers received our ideas and events, so we went around and interviewed them. We wanted to know how much they know Mindspace as an organization and our work, and also how they see the market hall, its present and future. We interviewed more than 20 people.
The Saturday morning breakfasts made the biggest noise, almost everyone have heard about the event. Many of the vendors also knew about the Oasis plant-swap and fair. These events regularly happen in main areas of the market hall, but many people working there haven’t connected them to Mindspace. This is why we prepared a flyer that sums up our current activities and also our plans for the future.
Although some vendors needed some getting used to the music during our breakfasts, most of them gave a positive feedback on the events. They agreed that these events bring some publicity to the market and lures in people who have never been there. For most of the vendors the events didn’t cause considerably more income, but some of them gained regular customers because of them.
The general customers of the market hall are both young and old and from around the neighbourhood. Most of the vendors have regular customers. Many vendors pay attention to having bio produce or to have bagging alternatives. During the warmer months many tourists come to the market.
Besides franchises such as SPAR or Rossmann many of the businesses are family-owned, some of them have been in the market hall for 50-30 years. The primary producers usually sell there out of habit and tradition. Some of them has seen how the market hall became emptier and look back with nostalgia to the times when the lines were on the streets and they could employ more than 10 people. Now it has become a one-man job. The decline in demand can be explained by the expansion of supermarkets and that less people cook at home. The building of the M4 metro line also caused some disruption in the life of the market. The building became hard to see, many people in the city don’t know about its existence. This is why it would be important to utilize marketing opportunities along the boulevard.
The vendors and workers had many ideas on how the market hall could be improved. Most of them mentioned the lack of heating during the winter and the lack of air conditioning during the summer. They say more adverts and lower rent prices could improve businesses. Events, seasonal fairs could also bring in more customers even in the colder months.
The opinions vary about the future of the market hall. Some think it will be closed and rebuilt as a supermarket or mall, but some vendors see perspective in the rehabilitation of the district. They think the new houses, renewal of streets and the metro station can bring in more customers. With the new trends of conscious diets and low-waste shopping it’s undeniable that there is rising demand to what a market hall can offer.
Text: Réka Major