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Food hall operator Market Halls prepares for new openings as sales soar

London food hall operator Market Halls saw sales more than double to £22 million, as it prepares to open new venues including one coming soon to a London rail hub (Market Halls)
London food hall operator Market Halls saw sales more than double to £22 million, as it prepares to open new venues including one coming soon to a London rail hub (Market Halls)

London food hall operator Market Halls saw sales more than double to £22 million, as it prepares to open new venues including one coming soon to a London rail hub.

The business, which operates food halls at Victoria, Canary Wharf and Oxford Street, served more than three million customers in the year to 31 July, thanks to a return of both office-workers and tourists.

Since the start of its new financial year, the business has seen consecutive record trading weeks. At Victoria, the only venue that was open before 2020, sales are ahead of pre-pandemic levels.

CEO Andy Lewis-Pratt said: “Obviously we’re very excited by these results. It shows that we’ve bounced back really strongly.

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“We’ve got three venues in London that are all performing really well. It shows that despite the cost of living crisis, if you have an attractive business, people still seem to be spending.”

With backing from private equity firm Gees Court Partners, the business aims to open two to three new sites a year, aiming to both develop new sites and acquire existing food halls.

While most of the areas targeted for new food halls are outside of London, Lewis-Pratt said Market Halls had a new London site under offer. He could not yet reveal the location, but said it would be next to one of the capital’s major rail stations.

He added that he had seen a transformation of Oxford Street this year, after a much-publicised decline for London’s busiest shopping throughfare.

“Everybody likes to bash Oxford Street, but the block we’re in is right next to John Lewis and maybe 18 months ago, half the shops were vacant or sweet shops: now they’re all let,” he said.

“Big names are coming back to Oxford Street.”