Time Out jettisons London Waterloo market

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Time Out jettisons London Waterloo market due to impact of Coronavirus

Related tags Food Hall London Coronavirus Street food

Time Out Group has confirmed it will no longer push ahead with plans to open a food market in London Waterloo, due to the financial hit from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company signed a lease agreement back in late 2018​ for a 32,500sq ft site in the former International Eurostar Terminal that would have been split over two floors and accommodated around 500 seats. It was originally slated to open this year.

In a statement confirming it would no longer proceed with the development of Time Out Market London, the group, which operates six food halls internationally, primarily in the US, said the decision does not change the need for it to secure additional funding as a result of the financial impact of repeated periods of pandemic-related containment.

It added that it is currently reviewing an equity funding proposal to ensure it has 'financial and operational flexibility'.

The first Time Out Market opened in 2014 in Lisbon and is said to be the Portugal’s most popular attraction.

Subsequent markets have opened in New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Montreal, with the group's latest site set to launch in Dubai next month.

As well as the Waterloo site, Time Out has previously announced plans to open a London market in Spitalfields.

While Time Out will no longer be going ahead, the capital is still set to see its food market space grow significantly, with Italian food hall chain Eataly and artisanal food market operator Mercato Metropolitano both planning to launch new locations in the capital this year. 

Earlier this month, Petra Barran and Simon Mitchell, the founders of business incubator and food market operator KERB, told BigHospitality​ ​that they expect the appetite for food halls among both consumers and developers to continue to thrive post pandemic.

“You’re going to see more food hall concepts than ever pop up in the months to come,” said Mitchell, KERB’s chief executive.

“It’s what developers are looking for. The impact of the pandemic mean high streets are going to be full of huge, empty retail sites, and opening a food hall will be seen as an easy way of repurposing those spaces."

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