Well, that was exciting! Strawberry Festival 2023 is in the books, and it was the third best day in our operating history with reported vendor sales of $265,572 – second only to Oktoberfest Saturday and Oktoberfest Sundays (2022). During the nine days starting with Opening Weekend through Strawberries, including sales from all of our market locations, vendor sales exceed $725k! Further, we are already at $1.1m in vendor sales for the season - a milestone that took the Market seven years to reach in annual sales.
It was also the first “normal” market day, with setup, event operations and breakdown occurring in a single day. This process is always a bit hectic, and being the first of the season adds a special jolt to the system. Having said that, it really went remarkably well, with only a few complications:
Please review the setup hours and procedures presented here: V. A. 2. Chattanooga Market Setup & Breakdown
Importantly, if you arrive beyond the cutoff your booth will likely be reassigned to someone else. Given that we had a thousand customers on premise by 10:30am Sunday, it’s important to arrive a bit earlier than late for the Chattanooga Market.
We are still working through a couple issues regarding parking and load-in, but most everyone has been very considerate and is calmly working towards improvements.
There are not enough parking spots for every vendor to have an unlimited supply. We are still monitoring the situation to determine what exactly is going on, but if the problem continues we may have to limit the number of passes per vendor.
Handicap Parking is always reserved for Handicap Placard vehicles; the rules and laws of our society still apply at the market. Tickets will issued by CPD for those incapable of honoring this well-established parking rule.
- The interest for new participants to join the market is very strong, and we’ve accepted dozens of new high-quality vendors over the last several weeks. The acceptance of new vendors is part of our success – fresh ideas and product diversity keep the market interesting.
- With that said, I am halting all new vendor applications indefinitely starting this week. We are reaching capacity levels at all of our venues, and need to allow the new mix of products/vendors to settle in before accepting more applicants.
- I am not certain if the vendor process will change in the future, but it seems likely that some change may be necessary to keep our operations in balance.
- New Vendor Applications will close on Friday, May 12; those with open/pending applications will continue to be processed and accepted, if approved.
As is our custom, here is a breakdown of market performance over the last week:
|Vendor: Segment ↑||Venue ↑||Sum of Gross Sales||Average Gross Sales|
|Concessions||First Horizon Pavilion||$59,694.72||$1,925.64|
|Food & Agriculture||First Horizon Pavilion||$116,854.34||$1,915.64|
|Erlanger Medical Mall||$1,921.00||$384.20|
|Home Goods||First Horizon Pavilion||$40,747.21||$754.58|
|Erlanger Medical Mall||$973.57||$88.51|
|Personal Goods||First Horizon Pavilion||$40,032.67||$870.28|
|Erlanger Medical Mall||$317.00||$105.67|
|Services||First Horizon Pavilion||$18,984.00||$4,746.00|