CHRISTMAS Market traders are relishing the opportunity to boost trade and attract new customers over the festive period.

After an enforced absence due to the pandemic, the market returned to Broad Street on December 9, with stalls offering a variety of artisan products, and festive food and drinks.

In a bid to increase footfall in Oxford, the city council is running a campaign in the run up to Christmas – backed by the Oxford Mail.

Oxford Mail: The Oxford Mail is backing the city council campaign to support local tradersThe Oxford Mail is backing the city council campaign to support local traders

This week, we visited the Christmas Market to talk to traders.

Jordan Morris, owner of Abingdon Distillery, said: “Last weekend was really good, the thing with an alcoholic brand is that people tend to buy more from us when it’s the weekend so the week was a little bit quieter.

“But, it’s been so far, so good for us – it’s been a profitable market.

“We always do better if it’s an event like this, we get people who will pass us on to a relative who isn’t from Oxfordshire.

“That helps us as people will buy gifts for relatives, people are still like they were in the pandemic in buying local, which helps us out.”

Julie Macken, owner of Eynsham-based Neve’s Bees, said customers are more inclined to engage with local traders.

She said: “It’s been really good, it’s our first time doing the Christmas market.

“The thing about Christmas markets is that people want to engage with the owners, customers know we’re local and authentic people, and want to talk and engage with us.

“There seems to be a real appetite for buying local, it’s authentic and real, and good value as there’s no middle man.”

Read again: What Covered Market traders are doing this Christmas

Molly Stevenson, owner of Littlemore Candle Company, added: “It’s going really well, it’s my first year here after applying for the last three years.

“Last year was tough without events to go to so I’m glad to be here.

“People want to buy local and appreciate the care that goes into these products.”

As well as the local businesses, there are more from across the UK.

DCUK, which makes hand carved wooden ducks, is based in Devon with the Oxford Christmas Market its first ever market.

Running their stall is Julie Clayton, who said: “It’s been really successful, it’s been brilliant.

“It’s a beautiful market and I’ve got to know all the know the people around us – it’s an amazing community here.”

A familiar stall is Crepes O Mania, an ever-present in Broad Street.

Akim Akkouche, who has operated his crepe van in the city for nine years, said: “The weekends are busier but that’s always the case – from Thursday to Sunday, it’s really busy.

“For us, it was a must to join the market – being on Broad Street on the outside of the market meant a lot of people would miss us.

“Because it’s so busy here, everybody gets business and the competition between the other stalls selling food is good, there’s not too many.”