Looking for feedback on a shop I may lease – will it work?

I have my eye on a retail shop on Amhurst Road in Hackney Downs. I would be dealing in 1960s Scandinavian furniture, home decor and a couple of other product lines. I am 95% sure it would work but am looking for some feedback from the community.What are your thoughts?Thanks,Brentchaseandsorensen.com

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18 comments

  1. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 6 January 2011, 8:28 am

    I’ve seen some of your furniture on Brick Lane and it’s really nice 🙂 I guess location is everything, but Hackney Downs has enough people with money to spend near it.Will you just be selling furniture or doing anything else like restoration?

  2. Profile photo of chaseandsorensen

    chaseandsorensen - 6 January 2011, 8:51 am

    Thanks for the kind words! It would just be the furniture and a few other product lines. The shop isn’t big enough to do restoration work.

  3. Profile photo of saladefolle

    saladefolle - 6 January 2011, 10:33 am

    do it do it do it! We need good shops near Hackney Downs!

  4. Profile photo of quitepeculiar

    quitepeculiar - 6 January 2011, 11:59 am

    I think that location is good. You won’t really have any nearby competition, as the furniture places around there are either secondhand or kind of basic (read: boring).The location is near enough to people in London Fields and Stokey, who also have money to spend.Beautiful things, from what I saw on your website.

  5. Profile photo of gcar

    gcar - 6 January 2011, 12:16 pm

    How much foot traffic do you think you’ll get? The area needs some nice shops but it doesn’t really have any other shops in the area that would attract people down that way. If people are coming specifically to see you would it make more monetary sense to stick with Brick Lane instead of having to pay rent? If you can get a good deal on the rent i say do it, all it takes is one nice shop to start attracting others.All the bits you have look really nice. If i had the room i’d snap up that day bed.

  6. Profile photo of chaseandsorensen

    chaseandsorensen - 6 January 2011, 12:56 pm

    Thanks everyone for your thoughtful feedback!I feel like I won’t necessarily be getting heavy foot traffic day in and out but being in between Hackney Downs and Hackney Central stations will surely get people aware of the business. I am leaning heavily towards just doing it.

  7. Profile photo of monkchips

    monkchips - 6 January 2011, 3:25 pm

    entirely self-serving but i strongly recommend you check out chatsworth road in E5 as a possible alternative. it has some shops that would potentially reflect well on your shop and vice versa . i lived on amhurst and it does have a fair base of potential clients, but it isn’t a shopping destination. chatsworth road increasingly is. with a new sunday market, and new shops opening regularly chatsworth could do with more cool shops!

  8. Profile photo of chaseandsorensen

    chaseandsorensen - 7 January 2011, 8:34 am

    I’ve looked a few times on Chatsworth Road but nothing seems to be available. The \To Let” signs don’t seem to be current. If you hear of anything please let me know!”

  9. Profile photo of alexpink

    alexpink - 7 January 2011, 8:46 am

    What about Lower Clapton road. I think there is an empty shop opposite Pages book shop. Grab it before it becomes a betting shop.

  10. Profile photo of janice

    janice - 7 January 2011, 11:52 am

    i live on amhurst road near hackney downs. i’m not convinced it would work, although i would personally love it. there are lots of transient people here and so far furnished accom. is the norm. i do see it changing but perhaps not enough for you yet – give it time, unless you would like to be the pioneer and take that risk. once there is a *group* of shops to come to, people will come. however, amhurst road isn’t a shopping or browsing thoroughfare but more a road which connects hackney central to dalston and stoke newington. i agree that chatsworth road and newington green might be more tangible but understand if there are no spaces to let. can you say the number on amhurst road so i can be more specific? the only spot we have so far is mess cafe, which does attract the younger, gentrified, club-going crowd and they might be your audience but somehow i doubt they are locals. at least i haven’t seen them walking by any time. even mare street, or the busier kingsland road in dalston, is packed with low budget low/no style shops. ugh. negative enough for you? i wish i wasn’t. i’d love your type of shop around here myself but this is an area where tesco, pundland and iceland flourish. i hope this won’t always be the case.

  11. Profile photo of kris

    kris - 7 January 2011, 3:48 pm

    I’d love a shop like that in the area, but I agree that you need to be aware that you won’t get much foot traffic, and that you would be pretty much a pioneer. I think it could work if the rent is low enough and if you manage to advertise sufficiently so that people come to your shop even if they wouldn’t normally pass by that street. Ultimately it all depends on the kind of business model you have (obvious, I know). I think somewhere like Chatsworth Road would be better for now, but of course there is not much you can do if nothing is available (and rent would probably be higher there). The area around Hackney Downs/Hackney Central is certainly gentrifying (the new cinema is a case in point), so I think it could definitely work, but you might have to be able to survive a few initial months without much business while word of mouth gets around and takes hold.

  12. Profile photo of monkchips

    monkchips - 7 January 2011, 4:27 pm

    to be fair i thought the Pembury was going to fail. a non smoking pub in hackney with no music or dirt. what chance did it have? six month later it was full of wifi users drinking tea and eating expensive cheese. it is possible to make markets.

  13. Profile photo of chaseandsorensen

    chaseandsorensen - 7 January 2011, 6:34 pm

    The Pembury Tavern gives me hope. I think I will try and do a pop up thing first and see what the response is like. If you see a lonely guy standing amongst a bunch of lovely furniture in a shop on Amhurst Road soon, please come in and say hello.

  14. Profile photo of saladefolle

    saladefolle - 7 January 2011, 6:56 pm

    By the way, I bought a danish-style sofa on ebay recently, and went all the way somewhere-obscure-outside-the-M25 (west!) by train to view it before committing to it. If you advertise your items in the right places (perhaps including ebay), then location won’t be an issue, it is price and quality that will get people coming to your shop!

  15. Profile photo of ewebber

    ewebber - 7 January 2011, 7:17 pm

    @chaseandsorensen I say do it it you have the chance (I’m secretly a bit jealous!). People make the effort to go to Mouse and de Lotz which is just round the corner! I would say it’s worth offering something else – like coffee or photos prints *ahem* photos of London Shop Fronts? ;)”

  16. Profile photo of marty21

    marty21 - 10 January 2011, 11:58 pm

    I would check it out, it is walkable from where I live in Clapton. The shops nearby don’t strike me as getting clientelle who would go to a Scandanivian furniture shop though. Not sure if it would be a success, but the Pembury proved me wrong – I didn’t think that would make it – so don’t listen to me!

  17. Profile photo of saladefolle

    saladefolle - 16 January 2011, 7:18 pm

    Also you mustn’t underestimate the buying power of the people living in the Eastside Academy on Dalston Lane (and the new developments nearby). This area is ready for shops in unusual places I think (the art gallery on Platform 1 at Hackney Downs station is a good start)

  18. Profile photo of janice

    janice - 16 January 2011, 10:01 pm

    Please give us the address so we CAN look for you. We may be your first customers!

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