Two issues have old-timers at Yerevan’s Vernissage Market up in arms.
Vendors say that despite recent improvements made to the market, opened in 1996, it needs to be better managed. They point out that the site is turning into a flea market of sorts where local handmade arts and crafts are being pushed aside by cheap Armenian souvenirs produced in China or brought from the Petak department store in Yerevan for resale.
One irate vendor joked that all that’s missing at Vernissage is a butcher shop.
Other vendors complain that they have to pay the lease fee for stalls (1,000 drams per square meter) year-round, and that they pay in cash, getting no receipt in return.
Woodworker Samvel Tadevosyan says he’d prefer paying the owner, H. Navasardyan LLC, by bank card, and that it would be nice if the rents were reduced in the winter when business drops.
H. Navasardyan LLC’s Director Pavel Gouroghlyan told Hetq that the rents are used to pay the market’s utilities, taxes, and wages of the crew that maintains the market.
He said it would be impossible to allocate one space to those selling handmade items and another to those selling factory manufactured goods since there are vendors that sell both.
The biggest problems facing the market, according to Gouroghlyan are the lack of space and pickpockets.
“On good weekends, some 80-85 vendors have to be turned away due to a lack of space,” he said.