‘Knight Cities’ podcast: Authentic experience attracts shoppers to Philly’s Reading Terminal Market

Who doesn’t love a great market?  And there is none livelier than Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia.

Knight Cities podcast

Anuj Gupta is the market’s new general manager, and I talked to him about what makes the market so special.

Here are five things you should know from my conversation with Anuj: 

1.     The Reading Terminal Market is one of those rare places in America that people from all walks of life seem to love. Why? Because food has a way of bringing people together that nothing else does.

2.     The diversity of the merchant community and what they are selling in Reading Terminal Market appeals to a broad section of people. That’s the magic of this place. 

3.     Reading Terminal Market does not allow franchises or chain stores in the building because people are increasingly looking for an authentic, unique experience when they visit such a place. People are not just looking for a great hamburger or a great deal. They come to the market because the collection of merchants and the diversity of people create a standalone experience. 

4.     Even during the recession, people shopped at the market because they wanted that unique local flavor. That’s an experience that is becoming more difficult to find.

5.     If Reading Terminal Market loses its local food purveyors, the market loses what makes it special. Therefore, the market is using technology to increase its sales, even to people who don’t visit. 

Listen to my conversation with Anuj here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every week. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @ccoletta. Reading Terminal Market photo by Brian Moran on Flickr.