Christmas shopping at home venture launched

Shoppers encouraged to support local with new Christmas Virtual Market.

Birmingham Museums is bringing together some of the city’s best independent businesses and makers for The Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market, encouraging shoppers to browse stalls from the comfort of their own home and discover unique, locally sourced gifts at a time when small businesses need support more than ever.

There’s usually lots of Christmas markets to explore across the city at this time of year, including popular events at Sarehole Mill and Aston Hall, hosted by Birmingham Museums Trust, that attract hundreds of visitors and help to raise funds for the charity. But like many things the coronavirus pandemic has impacted these events and so Birmingham Museums has created an alternative way to shop consciously this Christmas.

The Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market is running until Sunday 13th December and can be accessed via a closed Facebook group, which you can request to join to discover a huge variety of ‘market stalls’, who are all local sellers from across the region.

With everything from handmade jewellery, luxurious skincare, stylish dried flower bouquets, children’s craft kits, festive Christmas decorations and original artworks to browse, this is an ideal way to discover unique gifts for friends and family and buy direct from local businesses.

The online event is supported by Colmore BID and JQBID and there is still time for sellers to get involved by applying for a virtual stall here and paying a £10 access fee to start connecting with more than 1,700 customers in the group.

Lucy Elvin, Business Development Associate at Birmingham Museums Trust, said: “Christmas shopping for our loved ones is a festive tradition and so many of us visit local markets across the city as part of our Christmas celebrations. But the pandemic means market licences are not being issued this year, so we’ve looked for ways to adapt, and this is how the Virtual Birmingham Christmas Gifts Market was born!

“Birmingham has some fantastic small businesses and they need our support more than ever this year. Because of what we’re going through, many of us are looking to shop more purposefully and treat our friends and family to something special, so we hope this offers a positive alternative while we can’t visit markets in person. Thank you to our supporters Colmore BID and JQBID. There’s a treasure trove of stalls to explore!”

You can find out more about the online event, including how to join the group here.

As part of the event, Birmingham Museums is showcasing products from its online shop, including books, homeware and prints. During this uncertain time, shopping with Birmingham Museums is a way to support the charity, which cares for the city’s collection of over a million objects and artworks across nine venues, and support its work with local communities which has continued throughout the pandemic.