Sadness for shoppers as more Islington retail businesses close
By abi_silvester | Sunday, July 24, 2011, 17:32
It began as a trickle of closures around Islington's main drag of Upper Street, with shoppers saying goodbye to some of their favourite haunts. Around a year ago the first few shops were shutting down and being replaced: often by chain cafes, or in many cases sitting vacant for weeks.
An all-too familiar site in Islington.
The first casualties mainly consisted of independent boutiques: upmarket shoe shop Laura J on Camden Passage was one of them, closely followed by the FrostFrench boutique and hip ethical clothing store Equa - but soon bigger businesses were affected, too. We said goodbye to its neighboring branch of furniture store Lom Bok, and then to nearby restaurants Emni and Zigos. The former has been closed since early 2011, and is still vacant. More shops and businesses closing down can be seen in our gallery, which at present features eight empty premises.
And sadly, we've heard that more much-loved Islington businesses are set to join the list of those for whom survival in the area has become unsustainable. The fancy dress clothing shop Preposterous has now shut up shop for the last time - a fact that seems itself preposterous when I recall the gigantic queues snaking around the shop last Halloween.
The culprit, unsurprisingly, is an issue affecting much of London: dramatic rental hikes as well as higher business rates. Islington is a prime retail area, and it is becoming increasingly unaffordable for companies to remain in the area.
Meanwhile, the notable additions to Islington's main shopping districts are larger chains and coffee shops; a move that has led many to fear that Islington will soon lose its character as a high quality, unique shopping destination.
It is clear that higher buiness rates are having a very negative effect on the area, and many residents are already worried. Let's hope that the trend does not continue to damage our best-loved shops and restaurants.
Do you know of any more forthcoming closures? Please let us know if so