Crouch End retail healthcheck 2024

Crouch End Retail Survey start 2024

Another glimpse at the health of the Crouch End high street. Last year’s report can be found here.


Comings and goings

The usual heavy roll-call. Last year saw the demise of institutions such as Morley’s, Indish and Florian’s, whereas the headline long-serving departures this last year are probably Banner’s, banks (Nat West, Barclays and Halifax, all now gone), Bishop’s hardware, Electrical Market, Carter’s Glass, Memento Print, Prickett & Ellis, Jealous gallery…  Very few comparison shopping stores now survive, but chin up, …

Hellos to –

Harvest N8, Sainsbury’s, Urban Pub Co’s The Fox, Geographical Indications, Café Gourmand, Majestic Wine Warehouse, Asda (small version), Watermelon, La Vecchia pizzeria, OPA Greek restaurant, Ivie & Co, Brunch on the Hill, The Hook, My Little Home Emporium, Lovage, Kakao Maya, Spa & Massage, Spice Monkey, London Grooming, Brow.ol.ogy, Nova Clinic, Brekky & Brunch, 5 Stars Hair & Beauty, Shiva Shakti Studios, Georgi Nails & Beauty (lots of beauty parlours!).

Farewells –

Co-op supermarket (both!), Bishop’s, Barclays, Halifax, Electrical Market, Memento Print, La Gelatiera, Princess Alexandra (?), Carter’s Glass, Prickett & Ellis, Lo-Fi, Jealous gallery, Sacro Cuore pizzeria, Pulp, Firezza pizza, Kalimera, Dobar, Crouch End Tiger, Crouch End Food Centre, Carboys, Strada, C Potential, RH Reliable Homes, Smart Housing, Tan Hub.

Plus: New landlords at the Harringay pub, Les 2 Garçons relocated, Period Home & Interiors relocated, Ginger & Mint became Rosemary, Streathers solicitors relocated, Haberdashery cafe appears to have returned. Interestingly, all the ‘dark kitchens’ recently arrived have disappeared. More recently still, Another Waitrose is soon to park itself at the Park Road petrol station.


 

Briefly, last year’s trends continue…. but,

The shares of retail, convenience, leisure, services, etc. remain largely static although a few things do stand out – not least the banks, which at the time of writing are down to a single premise (TSB) – there were 7 a decade back.

Last year we observed that conditions for eateries are difficult, and clearly this remains the case (see the loss of Banners, Lo Fi, the shuttered pubs, etc.). The % of floorspace is down considerably, to 16%, so this after so many years is suddenly a sector in real decline.

The number of vacancies has depressingly jumped back up again from 23 last year to 32 this (more than ever alas). And the churn rate, always a useful reference, continues at a high 15% of units (nearly 50 businesses). It used to be 10%. Risky business being an entrepreneur. Tottenham Lane’s parades remain a bleak prospect of empty units, charity shops and down-market beauty parlours.

We may yet rely still upon the coffee shop as USP, but other services are challenging this image – the total of beauty clinics, hairdressers and yoga studios (and the like) have attained a 17% share, that’s 53 units. In another year or two this will be a greater number than all the food & beverage businesses combined.


The closure of all but a few comparison stores (in other words, what we used to call shops) is the real long-term story. The sector occupied 33% of floorspace in 2008, was at 19% before the pandemic, 16% last year, 13% this. Likewise, troublingly the chains are simply not opening in Crouch End (this isn’t the desirable outcome some people think it is).


As mentioned previously, the context for all this is of course the much cited high street decline, the cost of living, and the longer term trend to online shopping we’ve seen play out over the last few years. We must hope that an attractive and viable balance can be maintained. Of course, some infrastructure improvements would help considerably, a few trees, fewer cars? Widened pavements, decluttering, pavement cafés? Flexible commercial tenure, community and cultural activity?

And lastly, every year we seem to promise the completion of Hornsey Town Hall, with its 68 bed aparthotel, venue, arts centre, workspaces, restaurants. Who knows when it’ll happen, surely it must be soon?

Graphics credit CENF 2024, base mapping Crown copyright Ordnance Survey 2021, LBH 100019199

 

4 Comments

  1. Des cass

    People only go where they can park & there’s virtually no clear parking in N8 because there are ridiculous time restrictions everywhere,so rather than risk a fine they go to the likes of Brent Cross.This combined with high rents has killed businesses in Crouch end

    Reply
    1. Mark Afford Author

      Crouch End relies upon visitors on foot, always has. The number of parking spaces hasn’t changed and isn’t likely to.

      So we need to come up with other ways of attracting visitors and increasing footfall. One way would be to massively reduce the volume of through traffic thundering through the place?

      Reply
  2. Mary Hogan

    Many thanks for this fascinatiing survey.
    The other day I spotted a new funeral parlour on Topsfield Parade, called Exit Here! I cant see it attracting customers with that moniker, can you.? Maybe the sign is a prank.

    Reply
    1. Rob Jackson

      Exit Here already has an established branch in Chiswick, which appears to have good reviews. It looks like a modern approach to funerals, perhaps suited to secular/humanist customers?

      Reply

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