Market Halls plans UK-wide expansion as sales grow

19 September 2023 by
Market Halls plans UK-wide expansion as sales grow

Market Halls has said it plans to expand with two to three sites a year after seeing 40% like-for-like sales growth in the 12 months to July.

Chief executive Andy Lewis-Pratt said the business would be looking at sites in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds, Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh as part of its expansion.

The food hall operator launched in 2018 and grew to three London sites in Victoria, Fulham and Oxford Street prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emerging from the pandemic, only the Victoria site was initially reopened and in 2021 the group used a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to restructure the business.

The Oxford Street site reopened in March 2022 following a refurbishment, the same month that a long-planned site in Canary Wharf was launched.

In a financial update for the year to July 2023 the group, which is backed by Gees Court Partners, reported a 155% increase in revenues to £22m. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) before HQ costs grew to £2.6m.

The business said that sales at its Victoria site are now above pre-Covid levels, while Canary Wharf is surpassing expectations with annual sales exceeding £11m.

Lewis-Pratt said: "To have seen the popularity of our venues surge despite the tough economic environment is testament to the strength of the Market Halls proposition. Our model is built to be resilient and it's heartening to see the hard work of our teams paying off in numbers like these.

"With the momentum we built through FY22 and FY23 and the exceptionally strong start to FY24, we are confident in our ability to keep growing and becoming increasingly profitable as we work towards our goal of becoming the UK's largest food hall operator."

Esat Kolege, founding partner at Gees Court, said: "Now that we have three great venues demonstrating solid unit economics and cash flow, we are looking forward to building an exciting line up of new venues and potential partnerships with independent food halls across the UK."

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