sharing news and views from Crouch End and Hornsey
My favourite convenience store has closed down this week. David's Superstore , 21 Broadway Parade was in darkness when I walked by the other day and all the goods were being moved inside. Apparently business was so slow it did not cover the electricity bill, so the shutters are now up.
I see from twitter that Solomon's has gone (Solomon 20th Century specialises in classic furniture from the fifties, sixties and seventies. Based in Crouch End, North London, we have a continually changing stock of furniture, lighting, collectables and works of art.) I haven't verified this for myself but I guess its true
And Elysian Fields (hairdresser opposite Budgen's) has gone. This is a real shocker. There is fierce competition to sell lemons and toilet paper so the failing convenience store might just be Darwinian survival. Maybe Solomon's is concentrating on its Tel Aviv store. But to judge by the number of beauty parlours newly opened I thought the self pampering business was something that thrived in a recession as hard pressed customers try to make themselves feel more cheerful.
This is what Elysian Fields looked like yesterday as a skiwear pop up
That is sad news. I used their shop fairly regulary, always friendly and for a long while the inflatable shark hanging outside was one of my favourite local landmarks. I didn't realise about Elysian Fields, I thought they were having a re-fit. That plus Solomons, Baby Ceylon this weekend too and I heard the gift shop place on Crouch Hill is gone too. Bad times.
This is a real blow to us as we live above the shop, it means we have to walk across the road or further up the broadway for emergency milk/cat food. The guy also used to let us put small shopping on the tab which was really handy when you've no change for a loaf of bread and the card minimum is a fiver.
Sadly missed, and certain to become yet another artisan deli coffee shop within a month or two.
As far as I know, Elysian Fields has moved to another location, or at least that's what the window signage said before they closed. They have terrible reviews online though so perhaps business wasn't that good...
Actually since Joe left the place and moved to another location, & his associate take over, that was a recipe to disaster. Elysian Fields deserve they terrible reviews online the business,the customer service everything was nasty..... Good ridens
It's not all doom and gloom out there...
There is no doubt that business on the high street is challenging but let's not forget that on any high street there is a natural turnover of shops and that there are as many new businesses opening in Crouch End as there are closing, despite the current economic climate.
At the CEP we are regularly approached by new companies and individuals trying to find properties here to start new businesses. These are not just small independents, but multiples too.
In march we have Pickled Pepper Books, a children's book shop due to open as well as Blue Legume cafe (existing branches in Islington and Stoke Newington)..and let's not forget coffee giant Cafe Nero.
Why are they chosing this area? Well, Crouch end now has a strong brand identity, and online presence both of which are crucial to a sustainable high street. The new crouch end project website is about to launch (it's currently in its testing period...but take a look) enabling all sectors of our community to really engage with one another in a way that town centres have never been able to before.
At CEP we are focussing on the many opportunities out there...
More cafes? *sigh* And will the kids' bookshop last when Prospero's Books and Childs' Play couldn't?
The current Crouch End shop I think marks the way forward is Leila on Topsfield Parade. Lots of lovely things, more importantly at a range of prices. You can spend a tenner, you can spend seventy quid, but there's always something you can afford. In these straitened times, it's important. I liked Baby Ceylon, but at an average price of £100-odd for a garment, just too much for me.
I'd love to see a branch of Tiger move to Crouch End (http://www.tigerstores.co.uk/); it would fill the Woolworths gap. But no more hairdressers, estate agents or coffee emporia, please
And yet the cafes remain in business so there must be enough demand. Maybe we'll all stop cooking.
If the bookshop can provide 'added value' maybe it will do well - stuff like after/pre school classes, readings and so on. Just selling books is up against tough opposition online.
I agree about prices, and I'm still learning what judgements to make. If I can buy a specific computer connector where the name and the spec are very clear, from the internet for £8 and its £40 in a local shop the internet is going to win. But I have spent quite large sums on hardware in Patel's when on the face of it Screwfix is cheaper - by the time you've added postage the price difference isn't that great on heavy stuff, and Screwfix does not talk to me. Patel's offer advice and stop me buying the wrong thing and come up with innovative solutions to apparently intractable practical problems. Even in the short term the local shop is better value. In the long term if we lose all that expertise and have to call in a contractor we'll be much worse off by any measure.
I recently spent what for me was a lot of money on clothes in Crouch End. I have no regrets about the purchase, i'm comfortable in the clothes and massively more stylish than in chinos from M&S, but looking at the Visa bill I'm going to have to summon up considerable courage to spend that much again
I am soooo with you :)
NO MORE CAFFE, HAIRDRESSERS,& MEDIOCRE RESTAURENTS IN CROUCHEN :)
"World play" or something call like that, great shop for children will be sadly missed toys, games,books. As well as "Crocodile"
Hey everyone - use them or lose them!
How about we all resolve to visit 3 shops we've not been to in Crouch End this week.
You feel so warm and welcome as you get to know the owners and staff. Yesterday I popped in specially to say hi to Hattijay who used to manage Figo and is now on the staff at the wonderful Honeycomb. We can't put a price on that feeling you are part of a neighbourhood.
Some good news, Solomon's 20th Century is going to become Bottle Apostle - @bottleapostle on Twitter. So won't be empty very long. Although still sad to see Solomon's go.
Rez the barber is looking for new premises too (hoping to still be in CE), he told my husband last week that the new rent negotiation on the lease renewal by the landlord is extortionate.