Market chiefs in Mansfield have defended their policy of turning away seasonal traders wanting to sell Christmas gifts in December.
Mansfield District Council confirmed that in an effort to help other shops and regular market traders in the town as the busy period approaches, they limit what market traders can sell.
They say that for two decades, a rule has been in place to prevent duplicated goods being sold on the market in the six weeks before Christmas.
But one trader, who did not want to be named, said he was shocked by the decision that despite eventually being permitted to trade for the day, said he would not return.
“I have never come across this before, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“They are trying to protect the other traders, but I told them they should not be picking and choosing who should come to the market.
“The market is struggling enough as it is. I won’t be coming back again. The town centre was packed but there was little to draw them into the market area.”
But Coun Kate Allsop, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at Mansfield District Council, said: “In order to protect our existing traders who make a living from our market all year round, a six-week rule has been in place for more than 20 years.
“It means that any new trader who wishes to have a stall selling Christmas-related items in the six weeks before Christmas will only be permitted to stand if those items are not already being sold by an existing trader.
“If the items are not already represented on the market then a new trader would be allowed to stand.”
Neal Wardman, former president of the Mansfield branch of the National Federation of Market Traders, said: “It’s something we’ve known about for years, it’s basically to stop people coming in for a couple of weeks a year and creaming money off from traders who have been there all year.”