The Dapper Market

Dapper Straat & Dapper Plein
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Submitted by: Peter Groenendaal

This daily street market has been declared "Amsterdam's true people's market."

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Why It Works

This street market is held six days a week, consisting of more than 250 stalls and approximately 37,000 square feet of selling area, which is built up and taken down every market day. Located in a working class neighborhood in the Oost-Watergraafsmeer section of Amsterdam, the Dapper Market was designated as a market area nearly 100 years ago. Since that time the market has continually adjusted to the changing mosaic of both customers and merchants. The prominent Dutch daily Het Parool recently declared it "Amsterdam's true people's market," and it is also commonly referred to as the "World Market," because of the incredible diversity of its merchants and products.

What Makes The Dapper Market a Great Place?

25% of the Dapper Market visitors come from the neighbourhood on foot, or by bike. 25% come from all over Amsterdam by Public Transit (bus, streetcar, train). Another 25% come from Greater Metropolitan Amsterdam towns such as Purmerend or Almere where a large number of people from the neighbourhood moved to during the last 40 years. A growing segment is the tourists, visitors from Toronto to Tokyo and beyond. The Dapper Market is a pedestrian area during market hours. During the next year or so the Dapper Market may also be accessible by water from Central Station.

The Market exercises a great deal of social control on its immediate surroundings, and thus adds to feeling of safety for the neighbourhood. There is much attention for the quality of cleaning the Market Area at the end of the working day.

The Dapper Market is held six days a week, 52 weeks a year. In addition, there are three Sunday openings in June, October, and December. It is estimated that every day 15,000 people visit the Dapper Market, which means that more than four million people come to the Dapper Market annually.

The market has recently been declared Amsterdam's true people's market in an in depth article by journalist Bert Steinmetz of prominent Dutch Daily Het Parool. That's probably the best way to describe the sociability.

History & Background

Today, Sunday the 12th of June 2005, it is seven days after the conclusion of a very intensive and successful 10 day promotion extravaganza for our market, which followed hot on the heels of the completion of an eight month project to upgrade the street, and the Dapper Market Square etc. The whole eight month project been one rewarding rush. The year long preparations and endless discussions about the temporary move have paid off and now there are signs on the street that the customer's wallets are opening ever so gently. So even the merchants are smiling again, and that is a miracle in itself.

A recent book about the market is already an enormous success. It is sold by 25 merchants in the market and well over 1000 books have been sold to date. The neighbourhood party on Dapper Market Square was a huge success, as was the street soccer tournament for eight to 12 year olds on Sunday the 12th of June 2005.

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