An expensive Christmas: What do Caridiff Christmas stall holders do?
With the cost of food and energy rising, how are the Cardiff Christmas Market vendorscoping with the soaring stalls fees,transportation,and raw materials?
At the corner of St John Street, the bulb lights slowly powered up on a rainy dusk at 4pm, the Cardiff Christmas Market open against high costs.
Interrupted for two years due to the epidemic, Christmas 2022 seems to be the most anticipated end-of-year bash for bazaar merchants.
However, behind the hustle and bustle is merchants’ struggle with constant rising costs for raw materials, transportation, and stall fees.
“The cost for everything is going up,” said Cheryl Cunliffe, a handmade craft owner coming to the Cardiff Christmas Market for the second year, “I can’t stop panic since January, and I kept planning for the whole year.”
And those costs are being passed on to customers. You can expect to pay over £7 for a pint and another £6 for a bratwurst.
For several market stall holders have been insulated from rising costs by buying stock early.
“Some product costs are almost the same, because I bought them so early when I notice that the costs have gone up, but some goods’ prices are raised a little bit compared to last year inevitably,” added Cheryl.
When the UK’s inflation rate hit a fresh 41-year high in October, soaring up to 11.1%, Christmas 2022 has become a little bit “lavish” both for consumers and shop owners.
Roy Daniels goes over Wales selling Welsh antiques and collectables the whole year. It is the eighth time for him to the Cardiff Christmas Market. On the back of rising cost of energy, transportation and storage expenses have raised significantly this year.
“It takes me 90 miles to drive from house back and forth every day and it really costs me a lot,” laughed Roy. “But I won’t put the goods’ price up, our declining margins will underwrite for that – our profit margin is going down, since we spend much more to collect things as well as show then pass them on.”
Even though Christmas this year is a bit pricey, it still has unique appeal.
“Everyone is complaining. But what we saw is that people still buying,” said Nedj Nemiche, who focuses on markets promotion and went to Brighton for last Christmas then comes to Cardiff for his time. “Closed in 2020 due to pandemic, Christmas Market reopened last year, but people were wearing masks and staying away from me.”
“The money we pay for Christmas Market stall is £100 more, and our products have increased by an average of £1 compared to last year,” added Nedj. “But it’s a good idea to bring our products to Welsh people. What we do is to give some samples as gifts and we find that we are still welcome.”
Owning an online store and working from home all year, the Cardiff Christmas market seems to be an annual gathering of old friends for Cheryl.
“I like meeting people,” said Cheryl. “I come to Christmas Market, and my customers come back as well. I feel so happy to meet and talk ‘my friends’ again.”