Ealing Trumps Chiswick For Shoppers

Devonshire Road retailer pulls out of area claims local support lacking in W4


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A businesswoman who became a well-known figure when her shop was destroyed in the Ealing riots last year, has closed her branch in Chiswick because of falling sales.

Liz Pilgrim was extensively interviewed on television when her shop babye was destroyed last August. But she closed the Chiswick branch of the specialist maternity and babywear shop last Friday, and claims lack of local support was a contributing factor to its lack of success.

liz pilgrim

Liz Pilgrim, owner of babye

The shop in Ealing will remain open and is doing well.

“People find it difficult to believe that I am closing Chiswick and staying open in Ealing but Ealing seems to be on the up. There’s a lot of development going on and people seem to be happy to come into shops like mine with high-quality goods, and pay the prices,” said Ms. Pilgrim.

“That wasn’t happening in Chiswick. Nobody wanted to pay more than a few pounds for an item and I had a lot of people browsing but not buying.

“It’s very sad, but as the saying goes ‘use it or lose it’. Shops are really up against it. If people don’t come and buy from their independent retailers, they won’t be able to remain open and you’re going to see more shops closing in Chiswick.

“The fact was that for me in Chiswick, the average transaction had fallen, the footfall had dropped and the overheads and the rents remained high. It was depressing”.

The Devonshire Road shop won an award for its creative window display with the bubaboo range of children's products two years ago.

She added that she was able to continue her business in Ealing because of a loyal customer base there, an excellent location, and local developments which were attracting families to the area who were willing to spend money on high-quality merchandise.

One example was the Dickens Yard development in the area near the Town Hall which envisages traffic-free streets and squares lined with upmarket boutiques and cafes.

The babye shop, which sells stylish designer brands in maternity wear and baby products was launched in 2004. Ms. Pilgrim said Chiswick customers could still visit the store at The Green , Ealing , or shop online at www.babye.co.uk.

Her plight captured the attention of the media following the riots last August after the babye shop in Ealing was extensively damaged and she was extensively interviewed on television on behalf of local businesses affected by the riots. She was recently part of a delegation of retailers nominated by Ealing Council to meet deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband in Whitehall .

The reception was hosted by Darra Singh, Chair of the Riots Communities and Victims panel and gave the Ealing traders an opportunity to discuss their grievances and concerns about the future.


March 28, 2012