Interview with Oscar Martín Pérez, Head of Research and Strategy of the Barcelona Public Markets Institute

Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world that can boast a network of distributed markets so that all neighborhoods have a market nearby. The markets have had a very decisive role in the social life of European cities that now wants to recover. This market must join the spiral of innovation that grows everywhere in the world. Seeking renewal and revival, and for that they need new strategies and marketing campaigns that often accumulate objective data pass through the influx of public and consumer behavior. In this interview, Oscar Martín Pérez, Head of Research and Strategy Mercats Municipal Institut of Barcelona, explains how they are carrying out this task in the city.

1 – The market reform of Barcelona is a great investment for merchants, traders and Administration. Is traffic measurement an aid to recoup or justify this investment?

Effectively measuring the visitors of the markets in Barcelona is one of the objective indicators that helps to explain the benefits of a reform highly valued by citizens.

2 – From a point of view of management, how to use this data?

Besides being a generic indicator it helps us to understand the behavior of flows of buyers, especially in the evenings, as the time expansion is a strategic objective of the City. Also it helps when sizing advocacy and other actions.

3 – Can you tell us what days and hours are the markets busier? Do you think these times have changed in the last 20 years?

The busiest days are still Fridays and Saturdays, and slots are also in the morning between 11 and 1pm. But it is very important that the markets open also in the afternoon, and have at this time a third of its turnover, confirming the clear trend that already reveal other formats, such as supermarkets, where the evening is as much or more important than the morning, especially among the younger generation.

4 – Opening on Saturday afternoon has also meant a change in the business model of the market. What is the flow then?

Not significant. It is a trial, but the important thing is to consolidate the evenings from Tuesday to Friday.

5 – Given the modernization of markets and active promotion strategies to attract customers, traffic measurement is useful to measure this type of campaign tools?

We would say that today we consider it almost essential. You can’t manage without basic indicators that give us referrals and return of the actions taken.

6 – What factors do you think make a market have more visits? The architectural appearance, accessibility, product offering, activities, etc.

All are important: convenience and accessibility, hours, services, … but what is still more important is what sets us apart, that is, the professionalism and expertise of retailers that offer the best and coolest products in the city​​, which leads the culture of healthy eating habits, sustainability, promotion of food, etc..

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