MP Catherine West has started a petition and is going to see M&S execs so if you'd like to see the store remain open -- and improve please sign the petition.

Even more importantly than the store staying open is the impact its closure could have on the high road.



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I spoke to a member of staff at Wood Green M&S last week and she confirmed that the store will close in September this year. Staff are utterly gutted and despairing. She asked us to please write to M&S directly. The address is: Customer Services, Marks and Spencer PLC, Waterside House, 35 North Wharf Road, London W2 1NW.

I spoke to a member of staff who thought closure very likely because they need to renovate the building (approx. £2m), but they sold the building about seven years ago and only rent it now:/

I'm dreading what it will become....

Yes, what will be put there in its place? More cheap, tacky shops?

I'm afraid the problem with Wood Green shopping centre is the demographic of the people that shop there, ie poor people from Wood Green/Tottenham etc.

It's never going to have nice independent shops and restaurants like Crouch End. The reason the main "chain" shops are closing (M&S, Dorothy Perkins etc) is that people are now going to Westfield Stratford.

The best thing to happen to Wood Green shopping centre is they flatten it and turn it into a giant park. Sadly, this won't happen and it will remain a dump to be avoided.

I'm afraid that I take offense at that. I've lived by the bus station at Turnpike Lane for 30 years in my £650,000 house, and have found that the 'poor people come from Tottenham and Hackney to shop in Primark. The opening of Primark is a big part of the problem.

I don't know of a single person who shops in Westfield, Stratford. My children went to school locally, and none of their parents go there. I work in a large school north of Wood Green and no-one I've spoken to visits it. They are more likely to go to central London or Brent Cross (another place to avoid IMHO!) 

I like (and visit) both Crouch End and Muswell Hill weekly, and have done so for over 20 years to visit friends and family.  Crouch End probably has too many restaurants and cafe's (30+), and not many useful independent shops ('O Bag' being an example). The main shops are either supermarket chains (Tesco, Budgens, M&S and Waitrose),  charity shops (I know of 7 currently!), countless hairdressers etc. OK, so it has a nice children's bookshop off the Broadway and the Arthouse Cinema, but it isn't a 'real' shopping centre either.

Ask yourself WHY M&S sold off the building? Why did they run it down for years? It was busy, and still would be if they had proper buyers. I've gone there many times looking for clothes for myself, my children and as presents and REALLY tried to find something, but the selection was so appalling I had to give up. I've heard the same from countless locals. Oh, and despite the truly appalling selection of clothes (why no swimwear this summer for example?) the shop itself is in profit according to what staff were told at a recent meeting.

There is currently a Dorothy Perkins in BHS in Wood Green....and they are the same company. The reason they closed their Wood Green branch is the same reason they closed a large number of branches: DP is trading OK, but not so the other brands. Moving it into BHS gets customers looking at their other brands.

Amanda Wilkes:

What an outrageously arrogant and condescending attitude... I am so sorry that I and the hundreds of thousands of other people who shop in Wood Green do not meet your exclusive standards of wealth and class.

Don't let any evidence get in the way of your pompous snobbery but ... a there are total of 11.4 million visits each year to Shopping City; this footfall comes from a target population of around half a million (source). Apart from TFL Zone 1 Wood Green is the largest concentration of retail inside the North Circular - it is a major contributor to the local economy both as an an employer and a a source of local business rates - income which pays for Haringey's schools, libraries, bin-collections and indeed parks  ... locally sourced income for councils is increasingly important as the Tory government's ideologically-imposed cuts to funding for local authorities are set to continue for another parliamentary term.   

I'm afraid there are not enough Crouch End style artisan bakeries and trendy coffee shops to pay for local schools ... even those only educating poor children "from Wood Green / Tottenham etc"

Stratford Westfield may well be taking custom from Wood Green in the same way that the opening of Shopping City in the 80's led to the decline of Bowes Park's Myddleton Road  ... that's capitalism for you - and it is a capitalist, profit-driven motive that has led to M&S withdrawing from Wood Green and several other locations. (source)

Your suggestion of just flattening wood green and snuffing out the livelihoods and businesses that operate there is outrageous  - simply based on your prejudiced and veiled views about poor people from Tottenham and Wood Green.

If Wood Green is such a great shopping place then why are the larger stores pulling out?

I wish it were a thriving pleasant shopping area, but for anyone who has lived here for any length of time cannot deny that Wood Green is a less pleasant environment, with fewer independent shops and less character.

Many good shops have closed over the years. Pearsons, Waterstones, the furniture/interior design shop, M&S, Dorothy Perkins etc have all closed and there is a growing number of pounds shops, cheap clothes shops etc.

Talk a walk down there and tell me it's a pleasant shopping experience. It's not.

Although it seems controversial to say so, I entirely agree.  I would make an exception for the market, though.  There are some good stalls there, including the butcher, the greengrocer and the oriental food shop.  The £1 a bowl stalls on the high street are also good value.  I bought a bag of about ten avocados the other week for £1; I went somewhere the other day and they were trying to sell them for 99p each!

What does this opinionated (though mixed opinion) forum prove?

I'm not sure where you live Amanda, but there are far worse areas in most of London. If you are complaining about Wood Green and live locally, what input are you giving to improve it? If not, why not if you feel so strongly? If you live locally and hate it but don't want to try to improve things them why not move? Is Crouch End too expensive? There are some really run down areas round the back of Crouch End.  There are some terrible areas in Muswell Hill. I know, I lived there and my mother still does.

I thought that this discussion was about M&S? If it is, then it should be about why they sold the building years ago? Why they are moving despite being in PROFIT  - even with half the shop closed, the terrible food hall and clothes choice? How it fits into a bigger picture of closing down main branches, opening food halls, and another attempt at overseas stores?

I personally don't think that it's about the area per se. I think that the fact it needs renovating has made it one of many stores selected for closure.

Amanda Wilkes

By linking to this two year old discussion full of racist jibes as "evidence" you reveal your own prejudices.

Like it or not the shops in Wood Green cater for people who are spending money and generating employment, if Wood Green is full of people too poor for your sensibilities - then simply stay away. 

Larger stores are pulling out for two reasons - 

  1. short-term commercial considerations based on the retailers  profitability and estates management.
  2. longer term structural issues including online shopping and changing retail environment.

Your 1950's image of a golden age of independent traders wasn't even true in the 1950s.

Currently every high street in the UK is undergoing similar changes as government austerity makes it difficult for all of us to survive on low wages and particularly so in London. Placing the blame on "poor people" - the population of the borough who use Wood Green (and are my neighbours) is crassly offensive, arrogant and objectionable.

I'm not blaming "poor people". I am simple saying the shops there reflect the socio-economic group that shop there. It's an explanation.

The two links I posted were simply to give this discussion context about what other people, who are not on this forum, think of Wood Green.

I am willing to bet there are a number of people on this forum who think Wood Green/Shopping City is less than desirable but they are afraid of voicing such opinions lest people like you jump up and down and scream "racist".

I would suggest you keep your armchair theorising about any prejudices I have, to yourself.


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