Grand Marché de Québec: “a sinking boat” say traders
Open since 2019, the Grand Marché de Québec is experiencing difficulties.
Concerns, hasty departures, low incomes, merchants installed at the Grand Marché de Québec are going through difficult times. Many claim that traffic is lower than expected.
Several merchants interviewed by Radio-Canada said they intend to withdraw their businesses from the Grand Marché after the holiday season, as the situation is difficult.
Jean-Louis Bérubé, owner of Vollaille Exquise, is not surprised.
A boat that is sinking , nobody wants to stay inside, he illustrates.
In 2019, the City of Quebec closed its market in the Old Port, in Lower Town, and moved into the Grand Marché on the Expo-Cité site.
While the pandemic certainly played into the equation, merchants say traffic has hardly been there since.
On was supposed to have two million visits per year. The first year, we didn't have 500,000. This year, we're talking about a million. The people of Quebec shun that a great deal. they were against the move, says Mr. Bérubé.
Located in the Lairet district of Quebec, the Grand Marché opened its doors in 2019.
Émilie Ouellet has been working at the Verger l'Argousière kiosk for almost a year. His employer is one of the permanent merchants at the Grand Marché de Québec, those who pay for a fixed location, twelve months a year.
She says she has seen several traders leave since she has been in office. Some have returned, but have opted for a seasonal presence.
The contract to be there full time at the Grand Marché… the reality is that it is very difficult for traders because there are dead times. It is difficult. she said.
The owner of the Gagnon farm, André-Marie Gagnon, also notices these dead times.
At the Christmas market there is an increase [in traffic]. After that, January February March, there is a drop, he says.
The world thinks that there was no one, that everyone is closed. I am here year round! adds the one who has been at the Grand Marché since 2019.
Jean-Louis Bérubé is hopeful that the City of Quebec and the new general manager of the Grand Marché, Steve Ross, can remedy the the situation.
The rental costs are far too high compared to the traffic. , he laments.
On Friday, the City of Quebec announced financial relief to support the Grand Marché.
Returning from his first trip abroad as mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand was reassuring.
I believe in this Grand Marché there for what it brings to our local culture, what it brings to our farmers, what it brings to our citizens.
“We will work to make it profitable, if we want as soon as possible. »
— Bruno Marchand, Mayor of Quebec.
With information from Magalie Masson