The 165 municipal markets of Catalonia have their great future challenges in their digital transformation and generational change.
Adapting to the rhythm of citizens' consumption, whether through online shopping, home delivery or reducing queues, in addition to the commitment to local products, are other elements that merchants are increasingly taking into account to guarantee customer loyalty.
These are some of the elements that are debated this Monday at the fourth Congress of Municipal Markets of Catalonia, which is being held at the Tarragona Conference Center and which is attended by more than a hundred people linked to the sector.
The Catalan municipal markets host 6,000 stalls and generate 11,800 direct jobs and another 27,000 indirect jobs. "Customers are increasingly demanding. The variety and personalized treatment are highly valued," highlighted the general director of Commerce, Jordi Torrades.
The general director has recognized that "services need to be adapted to the rate of consumption of citizens", especially in matters such as schedules, queues, parking or home delivery.
"These are things that need to be improved to adapt and if achieved, it is an unbeatable format due to the quality of the product," he indicated.
Faced with a complex commercial scenario and with a great variety of markets, Torrades commented that "all those that operate have gone through a remodeling process", especially those that are centenary or have a long history, which have undergone improvements to a "d" level. infrastructures, services and stops. “It is a necessary condition but it is not sufficient,” he warned.
One of the examples in which the reforms have allowed the space to be revitalized is the central market of Tarragona. The city's Minister of Commerce, Montse Adan, explained that "what was perhaps a successful model twenty years ago has now changed" and that they are working on "digital transformation and guaranteeing generational change."
To address this last aspect, the municipal company is preparing changes in the duration of the granting of positions. From the 50 years that were usually done, they are studying lowering it to "ten or fifteen years" with the aim of "making it more attractive" for new generations, whether they are relatives of those who have a stall or merchants from outside who want to enter. "In the next ten years we plan for 40% of those who have a position to retire," Adan explained. Therefore, he considers that it is "a good time to look for solutions" and guarantee continuity.