Another One Bites The Dust

Jeremy tells me that the Greenwich Shoppe is to close. He says ‘it’s been there for a long time and I think it’s a shame.’

I certainly think its a shame that so many independent Greenwich shops are going. If it hadn’t been absolutely bogging with rain when I passed, I’d have taken a pic of the train-wreck that is the end of Creek Road – we’ve lost the Emporium, the many and varied shops that went into that funny little triangular store next to it and the lovely Thai restaurant Kum Luang, leaving us with an entire row of boarded-up gloom.

Does anyone know if someone’s hoovered up the lot in order to turn it into something inappropriate for a historic town centre or is it just coincidence that all these shops are dying at once?

We’re told the recession is on the turn. Both personally and for Greenwich I am yet to see any let-up.

In the meanwhile the funny little newsagents which supplied the world with emergency lighters, plastic policemen’s helmets and Princess Di postcards is to close, creating a win for chainstores and pedants and a fail for the rest of us.

the attachments to this post:

Greenwich Shoppe
Greenwich Shoppe

15 Comments to “Another One Bites The Dust”

  1. It’s endemic in Blackheath as well. We’ve lost Black’s the jewellers, the lovely Sisters & Daughters, the DVD shop, several restaurants, etc etc. Somehow we need to control the rental levels on high streets otherwise they will all start to look the same.

  2. Paul says:

    And meanwhile our local councillors introduce a new tax on use of pavement space for sandwich boards and fruit or floral displays, making life harder for independent traders.

    If you look at Woolwich, now rebranded as Tesco Town, you can see how they’d be happy for Greenwich to end up.

  3. Paula says:

    Has anyone asked the council what’s going on? I get confused if it’s the council or Greenwich Hospital thats responsible, but Im amazed at how many empty shops we have. Does worry me that they are being ‘hoovered’ up for something inappropriate as you say

  4. tintinhaddock says:

    Paul is absolutely right.

    Maureen O’Mara has introduced a charge of more than a thousand pounds a year (which will only go up) for the floral display outside the Creaky Shed and it’ll be a whole lot more for the tables outside Buenos Aires. Thanks to her, and with margins so tight, Royal Hill is in real danger.

    I’ve tried writing to her but she just blithely replies that retailers are welcoming the charge because it gives them ‘clarity’.

  5. Dazza says:

    Regarding the Charge for A-Boards etc –

    As for Emporium – Shiva will be moving from Church Street into this shop in the near future. Wonder how much the building works in their current position has to do with that decision or is it just to get out of the clutches of Greenwich Hospital Trust?

    This all seems to be a repeat of 2010/11 when the town centre went through a very dismal state of being ‘empty’ before GHT/Council made the ‘killing’ with the Olympics. Now we are back to realising that rent/rates are too high to be sustained. We started this year having lost so many long standing establishments….it seems to have continued and we are now appraoching tipping point. If no shops, no visitors, remaining shops/restos lose revenue, can’t afford rent/rates, close….. continue ad infinitum!! Well, ok not ad infinitum as there is a finite number of traders, but you get the idea.

    I also know of many local Artists/Photographers that are willing to breathe life into any empty shops with a vibrant Gallery/Pop-Up shop. Only to be turned down by Landlords. Not to mention the brilliant idea of an Indie Food Night that was cancelled by the GHT in the Market last week.

    We are being santitised by proxy. GHT have openly admitted to courting Chains not locals. WHY? The very reason people visit us is for the quirky/artsy/creative vibe! Let’s not lose it!!

    Fight Back……. I am!!!!

  6. BobH says:

    Foxtons has a planning application in with Greenwich Council for the Kum Luang site (it’s available online).

  7. Kate says:

    I read somewhere a couple of months ago than Kum Luang was due to become a Foxtons (joy). And wasn’t there an application for a betting shop along the high road that has recently been rejected? (Coincidentally next door to yet another new estate agent chains office, Winkworths)
    Surely the council see that the Greenwich area is already saturated with estate agents? – where I definitely support having good quality local independent agents I hate the thought of another faceless corporate chain organisation. And I need not point out the negatives of allowing empty shops to be leased to betting companies! I would almost rather them sit empty! Or like someone said, there should be council encouragement incentives for commercial Landlords to allow pop-up shops and galleries to occupy vacant premises on a short term basis.

    Soon Greenwich will just become another generic characterless centre with ‘usual suspect’ chain stores. Shame for a World Heritage Site which is fast becoming void of much of the ‘Heritage’ appeal.

  8. paddy says:

    I don’t like the chains taking over but I think some of the idependents we have in Greenwich are so bad (and i would definietly include Kum Luang – one of the worst meals I’ve had in recent years) that it is not surprising they don’t survive in more testing times. By contrast, look at areas like Brixton, in particular the food market, where small independents that are interesting and offering something different are thriving. Greenwich is a tricky one as it relys heavily on tourist trade, which means some businesses can offer poor service and still survive, which is not a good thing, independent or not. Places like The Union, Bianco and the sushi / noodle place (used to be Zin) on Trafalgar Road show how it should be done.

  9. Mr Eee says:

    Bugle – all video shops are closing due to the irrelevance of their business model rather than a specific Blackheath thing.

    But apart from that your point is good.

  10. Dave says:

    Greenwich Shoppe been there a long time ?

    Considering the load of tat that they sell there I’m surprised it’s lasted as long as it has

  11. Robert Number 16 says:

    Well very pleased to announce that Greenwich is about to have its very own independent TV show .

  12. Liz says:

    I am a 35 year old woman living in Blackheath. Although I do welcome a good selection of bars and restaurants in the area I do feel that in the last few years the non food outlets in Greenwich have been geared primarily towards cheap and cheerful and student population such as joy, fly jack, bullfrogs etc. Conversely Blackheath is geared too much the other way- oska, phase eight, jigsaw to name a few. I for one would welcome a few well chosen high street companies in Greenwich and Blackheath to entice the 30 something crowd back into spending their money locally and not up in town or out at blue water/ westfield. I do think there is scope for a balance of good quality high street companies alongside well chosen and relevant independents. If you lure in the clothes shoppers you will inevitably entice them to spend more in the area in general rather than taking their custom to the soulless malls that are far too easy to access.

  13. Wolfe says:

    Calm down chaps. The people who run Greenwich Shoppe are retiring. The Emporium are looking at different things (Google ‘em) and Kim Luang was not good. College Approach never used to have shops or Black Vanilla or Paul Rhodes (a £1 book store for a while) Greenwich changes. It always has.

  14. Mr. H says:

    Hi fellow phantom followers!

    I don’t want to reveal my sources, but the situation in the town centre of Greenwich is a combination of Greenwich Council & Grennwich Hospital Trust (& the general economy)

    Greenwich council seem to be doing everything in their power to destroy local indepedent businesses with the Pavement tax, rates & parking charges.

    Greenwich hospital are taking back the leases, either by not renewing them or by doubling the rent in other cases meaning some of the business simply can’t survive.
    They are using what the Jamie Oliver restaraunt are paying to justify the rent increase.

    They are knocking the old Bullfrogs clothing & Darlings of Chelsea as one retail unit on the groundfloor, and having flats above.

    Greenwich Shoppe where forced out, Shiva are moving to get out of the clutches of Greenwich Hospital as I understand.

    My guess is that Greenwich Hospital are kicking out the independents and bringing in the big chains!
    I think they are making a mistake as there simply isn’t enough money to make a profit after paying out the ridiculous Rates & Rents they are trying to charge!
    Expect more businesses to go under, and i’ll be surprised if Jamie’s will still be there in it’s current set up as i’ve never seen it busy enough to cover it’s costs!

  15. lucy says:

    Bring back greenwich inc,They where the best thing to happen to greenwich after nelson….