Lyall’s Marketplace opens in Manchester Square

A new store in Manchester Square is building up the small business community one shelf at a time.

Lyall’s Marketplace wants to make it easier for local vendors to cash in on their talent by cutting some of the overhead costs that can be a barrier to small businesses.

The storefront is home to more than 65 brands, with 95 per cent of creators working in the Edmonton area.

Vendors can rent a shelf and keep 100 per cent of their sales, or they can go the consignment route where they exchange a percentage of their sales for the spot in the store.

“A lot of people don’t have rent upfront to be able to start off, so they start with consignment and then maybe they’ll move to rent in the future,” said Lyall’s Marketplace owner Megan Forsberg. “Because you do have a huge opportunity to make more money each month than your rent.”

To help with the market’s operating costs, Lyall’s charges a 12 per cent fee on top of sales.

Forsberg said that money keeps the lights on and keeps rent and consignment options affordable for creators.

“It could potentially be a risk,” Forsberg said. “However, in the last two weeks, we haven’t had anyone question the marketplace fee … At the end of the day, you’re supporting a small business.”

Titi Fueston, owner of Tikkhu Jewelry, rents a shelf at Lyall’s.

She supports the additional marketplace fee, and she believes customers will too.

“This type of market is a local market, so the type of clientele that it attracts support local,” Fueston said. “I think they’ve very understanding.”

Unlike a farmer’s market, vendors don’t have to physically be there to sell their goods. They can ship them to the store, track their sales online and collect cheques every two weeks.

As of Friday, Lyall’s had more than 65 brands in store and another 30 vendors waiting to join.

“This is a surreal feeling. I’m so grateful for each and every person that has taken the time to fill out the application form and that wants to be a part of our community,” Forsberg said. “It’s really touching.”

The market also holds classes and workshops run by vendors looking to share their skill sets.

For more information visit the Lyall’s Marketplace website

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Adel Ahmed

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