A VIRTUAL market is set to give 150 independent businesses a lifeline this Christmas as shops close for a second lockdown in most of central Scotland.

The initiative was set up by Super Market Events who saw their successful business grind to a sudden halt earlier this year due to the first lockdown in March and further Covid restrictions since then.

Kelly Conway wanted to find a way of bringing her much-loved market experience to people virtually to help the hundreds of independent traders that her events support each month.


The City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian are all moving into level 4 restrictions on Friday.

Under level 4 restrictions – which are expected to end on December 11 – all non-essential shops must close, hitting businesses hard over the run-up to Christmas.

Using a technology that is usually used for virtual art gallery shows, shoppers will have the opportunity to "walk around" and browse the individual stalls of more than 150 independent Scottish brands from all over the country.

There are 10 categories available including fashion, homewares, kids and food and drink.

Each stall will have a personal voice message from the seller telling shoppers a bit about themselves and their brand.

Conway said: “2020 has undoubtedly had it’s challenges, but it has also allowed us the space to look at the business and be open to doing things differently.


"It’s been amazing to reconnect with all our brands and offer them an innovative platform to sell their products during such a crucial trading period.

"We’re so excited to launch Supermarket Virtual and bring Supermarket Events back to life for Christmas!”

Rachel Robertson, Aberdeen based designer and founder of participating accessories brand Hackley said it's an "exciting concept".

She added: "As a business that usually relies on and thrives at ‘real life’ markets, it’s a huge relief to see this kind of innovation coming through. And I hope shoppers choose to shop small and support brands like me this Christmas.”

The virtual market launches this Sunday November 22 and will run for three weeks until December 13.

Entry to the virtual market place will be free to all by signing up here.