Win some, lose some

Passing through Amwell Street this morning, I was sad to see that this shop seems to have closed down.

No more looking through the glass
No more looking through the glass

I have mentioned this strange little shop before, when I first saw it (see Through the Looking Glass) and again when I managed to find it open and go inside (see Through the Looking Glass revisited).

In happier days, the shop was characterised by the flamingos in the window (some of them upside down) and its colourful sign board, showing, on one side the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter and, on the other, a slightly raunchy Alice.

White Rabit and Mad Hater Alightly raunchy Alice

I may have spoken of the shop in a rather jocular tone and complained that whenever I went past it was always closed (not the best way to run a business, perhaps) but for all that I am sorry to see it gone. It was different and added colour to the Street.

A French épicerie
A French épicerie

It is not all loss, however, for a new shop has opened. These premises were previously occupied by a health food shop which unfortunately did not thrive and closed down. It’s good to see another business take its place and a slightly unusual one at that. Will it be a success? Well, perhaps, if unlike its neighbour it actually opens and lets people in…

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger,, All rights reserved.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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4 Responses to Win some, lose some

  1. AEJ says:

    It’s always sad when a shop closes its doors. We had a sandwich shop close down at the shopping center across the street from our office building. It’s been at least two years and still nothing has taken its place.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Businesses are closing down in especially large numbers at present because of the bad economic situation. Where small shops are concerned, shopping centres or “malls” have had a devastating effect. Even where high street shops still exist, these tend to be the “usual suspects” – countrywide chains – that squeeze out the independents.

      To survive these says, small shops have to find something the public wants that the big shops are not supplying – whether in terms of the products sold or the level of customer service – and that is not at all easy.

  2. WOL says:

    Hopefully another shop will open in the premises and it will be a bigger success — an Indian vegetarian restaurant, perhaps?

    • SilverTiger says:

      I think part of the problem this shop faced was that it was hardly ever open. If people find it closed every time they pass by, then they lose interest.

      So far, the French épicerie is keeping normal shopping hours and also has tables outside so that people can stop for a cup of coffee. However, it has rivals in the form of a long-established delicatessen and a family-run mini-market. On the other hand, the area is a one where a shop selling gourmet items may survive. I think Amwell Street probably draws customers from beyond the immediate locality so the more shops there are to attract trade, the more it will thrive.

      A good Indian restaurant would be an interesting addition but I don’t expect to see one as there are at least three competitors struggling to survive nearby.

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