More than 14 months after the Harris County area, and United States, began closing public spaces and initiating precautions for COVID-19, Traders Village is continuing operations relatively the same as they were in May 2020.
“We’ve been reopened since May of last year, albeit we had the initial restrictions on masks and capacity,” Lee Ann Murray, senior director of marketing for Traders Village Houston, said. “But we’re an open-air market. We fared much better than the indoor venue like malls, theaters, bars, those that just had a slower roll out in guests coming back was not the case for us. Within a month we were doing pretty well.”
Traders Village has hosted many family-owned and local businesses since May 2020 after closing for 6 weeks because of the pandemic, as well as bands and live entertainment, due to the venue being outdoors and allowing room for social distancing.
Traders Village has removed their mask signage in recent weeks due to CDC guidelines advising that vaccinated individuals are able to not wear masks outdoors and deeming outdoor activities safer. Murray said many customers of the market still opt to wear the mask, which is still allowed.
Murray said usual vendors at Traders Village took some time to come back, with others either passing their business to a family member or retiring due to health concerns.
“They came back quicker than expected,” she said. “We’ve seen a huge uptick in people just wanting to have a side hustle. A lot of people who lost their jobs have become entrepreneurs and are going into their own businesses. We have actually seen a large increase in our vendor demand.”
Traders Village has been seeing more varied vendors as more people begin starting their own businesses, such as bath products, crafts, and other homemade goods rather than auto accessories and furniture.
“That’s been great because our guests have been asking for something a little bit more unique. It’s been really nice to add in that extra level of artesian craftsmen that some of our guests are used to.”
Confident in their ability to continue as normal, Traders Village has an entire suite of live events coming this summer in addition to the new and old vendors on site. Murray said the community has responded well to Traders Village being a safer, outdoor option for the past year.
“As time goes by and we put more distance between COVID-19 and our business the comfort level has increased,” she said. “Thank goodness we are open air. We’ve definitely fared better than other indoor retail spaces. I dare to say we are thriving at this point.”
Traders Village will have a Father’s Day Out Car Show June 20, Fiestas Patrias Sept. 12 and the annual Charreada Sept. 26. For more information, visit tradersvillage.com.