Coventry Market – unCOvered!

What makes a good market… good? A rich history, a wide selection of products, competitive pricing or perhaps the ability to bring a community together? If so, then Coventry’s very own indoor market has it all.

As far back as the 13th and 15th centuries, markets were scattered across various locations around the city, mainly in the previously known area of Priors Half. Back in this period, Coventry street market names were often derived from the goods sold on each particular street. For example Cross Cheaping meant the corn market, Ironmongers Row translates to a hardware sellers (i.e. tools) and West Orchards refers to fruit and veg.

However, on the 14th of November 1940 a heavy airstrike by German Luftwaffe air force completely destroyed Coventry and some surrounding areas. After the attack, new life was inspired in the city as the residents aimed to restore Coventry’s landscape. Once other establishments were rebuilt, 1958 saw the introduction of Europe’s first circular retail market. Since then, a wider community, including many different cultures and ethnicities, has contributed to establishing the market as one of the most successful in the country. Voted Britain’s favourite market in 2010 and with over 170 stalls and shops and competitive (cheap) prices, it’s fair to say there’s ‘all kinds of everything’ on offer, including:

◦   Fruit, Vegetables, Butchers, Halal & Fish Mongers, Bakery & Cakes

◦   Florists, Bikes, Nail Care, Hair & Beauty, Body Pattern, Threading & Waxing

◦   T Shirt Printing, Sportswear & Children’s Wear

◦   Cards, Stationary, Records, DVDs, CDs & Books

◦   Spectacles, Designer Glasses, Shoe Repairs & Keys

◦   Cafés, Takeaways, Ice cream & Sweets

◦   Aromatherapy, Jewellery, Cosmetics & Perfumes

◦   Fancy Dress, Balloons, Party Gifts and much more.

As students, we’re always looking for ways to save some money if and when we can. However, surprisingly so, it doesn’t seem as though many students shop on a regular basis in the market – and you could be missing a trick or two as a result! Firstly, you can save money by paying for the product itself, and not have to worry about paying excess cost for the packaging. Secondly, you have the option to choose the freshest produce instead of buying a multipack that’s been on a shelf for a couple of days and finding 3 out of your 6 apples are battered and bruised! In addition, as the produce gets restocked on a daily basis, later in the afternoon some prices are slashed so you can find some really good bargains (i.e. 2 big bowls of grapes for £1). Finally, there’s a real sense of a strong community among those who work within the market, so you can be rest assured you’ll receive good customer service, which is always a plus when it comes to buying anything.

The list could go on, but if everything is said here, there will be no surprises left when you go and take a look for yourself!

The Coventry market opening times are:

Monday – Wednesday: 8am-5pm

Thursday: 8am-2.30pm

Friday – Saturday: 8am-5.30pm

Choose your time wisely, check it out and start saving some money!

Written by Tom and Elizabeth