Another Hairdressers?

Guillaume asks:

I’m a manager of a luxary hairsalon in Mayfair. I try to open a small beautifull hair salon with a nice French touch and French beauty products from Provence. I have been trying to contact to Greenwich Hospital Estate but every time they tell me that they dont want more beauty or hairsalon in Greenwich. But I think the quality of hair salon here are not very impresive ( bad service, unfriendly staff ). Can you tell me if you know someone I can contact for try to pass these useless people from the Greenwich Hospital Estate. I saw that the Dirty Paws shop had been refurnished It will be a perfect tiny hair salon for me. If you can maybe tell me where to go or ask for try to rent this shop.

The Phantom replies:

I have never had more comments on any thread than that on hairdressers – it certainly seems that people have strong opinions – in both ways – about Greenwich salons. And yes, there are dozens of ‘em to choose from, especially in Trafalgar /Woolwich Road, though admittedly fewer in the actual town centre.

I agree it must be frustrating to see empty shops in the centre of town, but I can, for once, sort of see GHE’s point of view. If they’re trying to get people to visit the centre for casual shoppers, then filling it with services may have the effect of making it a destination only for people who are already booked, rather than the browsers that make the market vibrant. Every street needs variety – that’s why the Royal Hill Lovelies do so well – there’s something of everything which makes people want to go there.

Whatever you think of the quality of what is here already GHE will be taking businesses on numbers, not quality. I can’t see that anyone would be prepared to kick out an established business because someone else says they can do a better job and ‘changing use’ opens up a whole minefield of issues.

I don’t think you’re going to have much luck with the centre of town – GHE aren’t really ‘passable’ – as a bunch of us found out recently when we tried to stop them bulldozing that cute little florists in Durnford St for a trash compactor. The only body you could talk to is Greenwich Council and I know for a fact that they are not keen on monoculture in the town centre either – witness the recent closure of several cafes because there were already a bunch of eatieries there already (and believe me if you think the hairdressers aren’t much cop in the centre, don’t even think about trying some of the cafes. One or two are fantastic but a whole bunch are dire. Quality does not come into it at all…)

Of course not absolutely everything in the town centre belongs to Greenwich Hospital Estates. You might want to check out other places as they come available – some are controlled by other landlords, though you will probably have to conform with the council’s regulations on what can go where (if you were trying for a bookies you’d probably have better luck – I only found out the other day that they come under ‘financial services’ which is how they find it so easy to open up in old banks etc…)

You could cast your net a little further, of course. I can’t think of an empty shop in West Greenwich that would be suitable (don’t even think about that ‘spare’ one in the row at the foot of Royal Hill – there’s a reason why there’s no one in it…) but maybe someone else knows of one. ┬áBut every other shop in Trafalgar Road seems to be a hair salon, of varying salubriousness. No one seems to care what goes there. I keep meaning to take a headcount of them, just for my own personal interest. Perhaps you could hook up with the excellent little French deli, L’Artisan, near the Arches and start a Quartier Fran├žais…

10 Comments to “Another Hairdressers?”

  1. Steven says:

    I have often wondered…..what IS the reason for that empty, somewhat dilapidated shop in the Drings/Cheeseboard/Creaky shed universe?

  2. As far as I am aware, it is just in a terrible state and, being listed, is subject to a whole bunch of really hard and expensive regulations for its renovation. Being so small, successive potential proprietors have shied away from such major work because they’d never get their money back.

    Dunno whether there’s a landlord who’s not willing to put money in either or if it’s freehold.

  3. Millennium Quay Resident says:

    There are quite a few units being marketed at the moment in the new Greenwich Creekside development.

  4. Paul says:

    The little shop alongside Drings has won planning permission for major alterations including a basement I believe. I’m guessing, but I believe they paid a lot for it, at the top of the market, which alongside the high cost of restoration means it has been difficult to make the sums work for the owners. Personally I’d like a decent wine shop there, then I’d never need to venture beyond Royal Hill.

    Incidentally, the flower shop at the end is also being redeveloped – the one storey section is being bulldozed and rebuilt as two-storey with accommodation above. But on the plus side, I have heard there is a very good tenant wanting to move into it.

    As far as hair salon venues… GHE are not the only game in town. Try the Costcutters side of the street, or South Street. Unfortunately the main problem at the moment is retail being turned into residential, as the latter tends to be more valuable.

  5. Indigo says:

    Guillaume – you really really would not want Greenwich Hospital Estates as your landlord.

  6. Richard says:

    Paul, is the Flower shop closing?

  7. Paul says:

    Richard, don’t know for certain, but I think the existing tenants are coming to the end of their lease. My guess is they’ve found it hard to make it pay as the present premises are pretty small. As I understand it there is a restriction or covenant on the lease so those premises can only be a flower shop.

  8. Michael Kaye says:

    Not had my haircut in Greenwich since Luckystar (Gerald & Julia’s) in Pelton Road closed down…anyone else remember what a fantastic experience it was!

  9. Sheila says:

    I’ve seen the lease for the Nevada St Deli / Heap’s up for sale in one of the local papers that get put through the door – not sure if the lease would allow a change to a hairdressers or not?

  10. Paolo says:

    Paul, being in the wine business myself, I have often thought that the little building by Drings would be perfect for a wine shop

    Now if I can find someone to give me an awful lot of money, I’d quite happily open one there and save you having to walk anywhere else…