Risky Streets

Following Bill Grimsey’s report on the state of the nation’s high streets we’ve had a look at some of London’s favourite shopping destinations to examine their environmental and financial risk 


We’ve analysed suave Savile Row, home of the independent luxury store; edgy Rivington Street in Shoreditch; the top end of Portobello Road (land of antiques); Carnaby Street, Oxford Street’s hip, fun sister; and Upper Street in Islington, where yummy mummies roam free.

Based on the combined average Environmental and Financial Scores of all the shops in these streets, we’ve created this league table:

Shopping Table 2

However, it’s more interesting to look a little deeper.

Carnaby Street certainly lives up to its billing: not only do 65% of its companies have an amee Environmental Score greater than 50 (the best street of the group), it houses the only company with a Score of 100 – Dr Martens.
Also notable is Everything Everywhere, with a Financial Score of 5 and an Environmental Score of 95, and although there is a general lack of consistency between strong environmental and financial performances on Carnaby Street, no companies have an Environmental Score below 10.
See Figure 1 for more details on the Environmental Score:
(Figure 1)
The other streets tend to show the greatest success for independent businesses and SMEs. The overall best performing company in our survey – the Almeida Theatre on Upper Street (with scores of 99 and 5), was closely followed by the well-established Savile Row name Chester Barrie (98 and 5).
Although Savile Row is at the foot of the table, this does not represent an atmosphere of gloom. In fact, it seems as though the street is rather divided between those companies on a well-established financial footing – including The Savile Row Company and Dege and Skinner – and a group of companies which are at the more precarious end of the risk scale.
Portobello Road seems to be particularly prominent at the low end of both scoring scales, but again it is small independent companies which are flying the flag for success, with The Hummingbird Bakery and Alice’s both performing well.
Upper Street’s boutiques are on a solid financial footing (see Figure 2 for more details), although they do not always perform so strongly on the Environmental Score. Coexistence managed to score highly on both markers, and estate agents Currell were also high achievers – once again a small chain rather than a large company.
This is in many ways a reassuring sign, and a possible indication of the future of retail given the growing dominance of online shopping.
(Figure 2)
In the main, it must be said that London’s chic streets are faring well under the changing circumstances of British retail. Further analysis can be done here, and in addition it will be interesting to compare this London-centric picture to other high streets in the rest of Britain.
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