The UK’s only publicly-listed operator of markets – a company which can trace its origins back almost 800-years – Wellington Market Company Plc, is marking the next stage in its development with a new name that reflects the changing face of its business.
WMC Retail Partners Plc, as it will be known, is a company that’s been built on the operation of traditional indoor and outdoor markets – dating back to the granting of a Royal Charter in 1244, for a market to be held at the site of its headquarters in Wellington, Telford.
With traditional markets having been in slow decline since the dawn of the out-of-town superstores in the 1970s and the subsequent change in consumer attitudes, markets have had to adapt in order to survive – something that’s been successfully pioneered by the Midlands-based company.
Counted amongst this success is its transformation of the Old Spitalfields Market site in east London and next in line for this rejuvenation will be Shepherd’s Bush Market, as part of the £150m investment being made in the West London site and its new owner, Orion Shepherd’s Bush Ltd.
Malcolm Ball, chief executive of WMC Retail Partners Plc, said: “As the retail sector has evolved, we’ve had to diversify into other activities – such as retail asset management and consultancy and it became apparent that our former name did not reflect the aims and direction of the company and was becoming somewhat constraining.”
“Although we’re still successfully running traditional market sites via our wholly-owned subsidiary Town and Country Markets Ltd, our diversified activities are moving to the fore and the new name of WMC Retail Partners Plc better represents our business as we continue into the 21st century.
“Markets still have a key role to play in the UK’s retail sector and offer something that just cannot be replicated in superstores. A contemporary, successful market should be at the heart of a community and offer much more than a mere retail transaction – such as hosting events, themed markets and community engagement initiatives that create a vibrancy just not found anywhere else on the high street.
“Our work in animating retail space with these types of activities has proved to be very popular, particularly with developers looking at breathing new life into tired retail sites and adding interest to new retail developments and shopping centres.”